I often think, " where will the cricket bat industry be in 50 years from now? " and so that question led me to work on this series of blogs. My thought is if you want to know where cricket will be, then simply look at who is working in the industry now and how they are influencing cricket bat making. That will give you some idea of what it will be like 50 years from now.
Some may think that the future looks bleak but I'm here to tell you its not all smoke and mirrors. Yes India and Pakistan will continue to mass produce millions of
cricket bats ( and there is a need for that ) with no flair, character or identity BUT there are a few purists who like to do one bat at a time, eat a piece of cake or drink a cup of coffee and then get back into it. Each piece of willow is looked at, examined, weighed, thought about and then put back down for another piece of cake. After discussions with the purchaser of the bat, many pieces of cake and much thought the cricket bat making process begins.
In this series we will talk closely with people like
David Wall @WWBats, Marcus Charman @affinitycricket and Lachlan Dinger @dingbatsports to try and understand what makes them tick, their love for cake and why it is they believe the way they do it is the right way, the only way.
Part 1 :
White Willow Cricket
David Wall is a cricket bat maker that adheres strictly to the age old traditions of quality cricket podshaving.
The founder of
White Willow Cricket started the brand simply to celebrate the craft he loves. As he put it, the industry was not in need of another brand but quality cricket bat making did need a voice and White Willow sought to be the one to bring this great craft, the necessary exposure.
Selecting the name came about from the original “
Wielding White Willow Blog”. The blog shed light on the tools and the materials used to make quality cricket bats. White Willow, also known as English willow or Salix Alba Caerulea is the willow used to make the cricket bat and the brand illustrates the quality of the material.
The creator of
White Willow is as genuine as can be. The authenticity and integrity to tradition shines through in his bats. Anyone who appreciates quality hand crafted cricket bats, can see the quality in the bats produced.
True to his podshaving identity, David wall hopes for the future is that people come to enjoy the identity, quality and affordability of a quality hand crafted
cricket bat. While White Willow Cricket has gone through considerable change of late, there are many techniques that the founder ( David Wall ) intend to incorporate and of course to bring across the joy that they have for the bat making process in the cricket bats that are made.
White Willow Cricket is integrity and tradition all the way. The bats are handmade and hand finished. It is quality pod shaving through and through, fads and trends in bat making come and go, but White Willow Cricket and only a few other great bat making brands believe that classy cricket bats is truly permanent.
David understands that no two clefts of willow are the same and therefore no two cricket bats are the same. White Willow Cricket lets the clefts of willow speak for themselves and no pre conceived shape can be forced onto a cleft to shape the bat. In fact White Willow is so unique simply because they are original and they do not try to reconstruct other bat makers ideas. Bats are somewhat pieces of art for White Willow Cricket and therefore the bat retains its identity without manipulating it to get a sale. The middles of the bats are left with the majority of the willow mass and aggressive concaving and oversized edges are not high on the White Willow list of great qualities in a bat.
White Willow cricket not only has a great selling line of cricket bats known as the Style Cricket Bats, but they also manufacture & sell the tools of the podshaving trade. These tools are Hand Tools like round bottom planes for shaping bats. This is a whole new level in terms of refreshing and reviving the hand bat making craft.
The willow for the White Willow bats comes from the UK and as with any other proud bat making brand, White Willow will not put a White Willow sticker on a bat that they did not make by hand from start to finish.
White Willow Cricket is crafting bespoke cricket bats that are proving that pod shaving is both a valuable and viable craft in the age of generic modern day cricket bat making.
To learn more about David and his bats and his favorite #hashtag #madebyme here are some links.
To read about affinity cricket please
Lachlan Dinger has since gone on to work at Kookaburra Cricket AUS but you can read about him