Cricket bats are traditionally made from willow wood, which is known for its toughness and durability.
However, a novel study suggests bamboo cricket bats are more enduring, offer a superior “sweet spot,” and confer vast kinetic vigor to the ball upon contact, excelling willow in these capacities.
Each cricket bat is made from a piece of willow at first. The majority of the willow trees used to make cricket bats are between 12 and 15 years old.
After the trees are cut down, the bat maker will try to use mostly the sapwood that is near the center of the tree because it has more elasticity and, therefore, performs better.
The tree’s trunk is divided into “clefts” that are about 3/4 of a metre wide.
To remove the moisture from the clefts, they are allowed to dry for up to a year.
Here is a general overview of the process of making a cricket bat:
- First, the willow wood is cut into planks and left to dry for a period of time.
- Next, the planks are shaped into rough bat shapes using a bandsaw or other woodworking tools.
Roughly cutting a shape
The next stage of the procedure involves the bat maker cutting the cleft into an approximate shape for just the cricket bat blade.
- The rough bat shapes are then placed in a press, where they are shaped and smoothed into the final shape of the bat.
- The bat is then sanded and polished to give it a smooth finish.
The Heavy Roller
Contrary to popular belief, both cricket pitches and bats require heavy roller treatment.
After the bat has been shaped, it is put through a press that can exert up to three tonnes of pressure, which curves the blade’s face and compacts the willow fibers for improved performance.
Making the Handle’s Space and Cutting
Then the batmaker will draw a V on the end of the bat and cut out the V shape, leaving space for the bat’s handle to be attached.
The Bat Handle
- The cane used to make the handle is primarily made of dried vine stems.
- Numerous cane pieces are coated in rubber, cut into thin layers, and then glued together to form the handle. The handle’s bottom will be shaped to fit into the V-shaped opening in the blade.
- The bat maker coats the handle with glue and presses it firmly into the bottom cutout of the bat.
Creating the Bat’s Profile
The cricket bat’s spring will be tested by the bat maker using a wooden mallet before continuing.
Sanding The Bat
- The bat maker completely sands the bat with a drum sander. To ensure that the bat maintains the profile that the bat maker worked so hard to create, the air-filled drum of the sander moulds to the shape of the bat.
- After that, the bat is sanded twice more for the ideal finish, first with a coarse and then with a fine abrasive.
Using a Twined Handle
- The handle of the bat is then thoroughly covered in glue before being placed onto a twining machine. The bat is then rapidly spun while the twine is meticulously wound around the entire bat handle.
To keep the twine from unraveling after being wound, an additional layer of glue is applied to the twine itself.
The cricket bat is then polished against a fast-spinning cotton wheel to achieve an impressive sheen.
Stickers and Grip
The application of the rubber grip and the stamping of the manufacturer’s name in various locations on the bat are the final steps in the creation of the bat.
- Finally, the bat is painted or lacquered and the logo of the manufacturer is added.
This is a general overview of the process of making a cricket bat, and there may be variations depending on the specific manufacturer.