The Cricket Buying Bible - Cricket Equipment Buying Guide
1 : What is a cricket bat?
Here are the things that you need to look for when buying a cricket bat.
a : What type of wood / willow is used in cricket bats?
Essentially cricket bats can be made of two types of willow. There is English Willow cricket bats and Kashmir Willow cricket bats. English Willow is known to be the better of these two willows and provides most of the cricket bats used for leather ball cricket. The price of English Willow is therefore higher than the price of Kashmir Willow. Kashmir Willow cricket bats are good for tape ball cricket, beginner level cricket and softer ball cricket. Even within English Willow itself there are varying grades within the willow. This brings us to the next consideration.
b : What does willow grade mean?
A cricket bat making expert can test and see which willows will have superior performance and which willows will have best “ping” and durability. Cricket bat manufacturers like GM have the cricket bat willow grading process down to a science where experts assign Grade 1 to the best type of willow and a Grade 4 or 5 to the lowest. Kookaburra use a similar grading system. Asking a reputable store like Cricket Store Online on other brands can give you a feel as to what willow grade is being used for various types of bats.
Like all sporting goods throughout the world, what you pay for is what you get. If you pay top price you are probably getting a superior willow grade and as the price dips so will the quality of the bat.
c : What different sizes do cricket bats come in?
Cricket Bats are not a one size fits all product. At least not when you are junior. Once again the experts at GM have put out what they perceive to be the best sizing guide for junior cricketers.
Up to 120cm (3’11”) should use a size 0 bat
20-129cm (3’11”- 4’3”) should use a size 1 bat
129-137cm (4’3”- 4’6”) should use a size 2 bat
137-144cm (4’6”- 4’8”) should use a size 3 bat
144-150cm (4’8”- 4’11”) should use a size 4 bat
150-157cm (4’11”- 5’2”) should use a size 5 bat
157-163cm (5’2”- 5’4”) should use a size 6 bat
163-168cm (5’4”- 5’6”) should use a Harrow sized bat
168-175cm (5’6”- 5’9”) should use an Academy sized bat
175cm and over (5’9”+) should use a Full Size bat
d : How does the weight affect a cricket bat? Ho heavy are cricket bats?
Players with a lot of upper body strength may want a heavier bat and players that are more wristy may want a lighter bat.
For full size cricket bats, the low end of the weight range is about 2lbs7oz and the high end of the weight range is about 3lbs. Once again the pick-up and weight distribution can make a heavier bat feel lighter, which is why it is important to focus on the next criteria for selecting a cricket bat.
e : What is a cricket bat sweetspot and how does it affect you shots?
Once you have got the size, weight and budget right on the bat, the next big thing to look at is where the sweet spot on the bat is. Some batsmen love the classical mid sweet spot on the bat. There are many power hitters, as indicated by GM L-Sweet technology that love a low sweet spot. This may enhance bat speed and front foot play and there are players who play on bouncy surfaces that enjoy a high sweet spot. This should be considered when buying your bat.
Once all that is sorted you can customize much of the rest. This will include the type of grip that you love best, the toe guard and getting an anti-scuff sheet for enhanced durability.
For the best advice and guidance when buying a cricket bat, speak to our experts to step-by-step guide you through the process.
More Cricket Bats
2 : What are cricket batting gloves? What do i need to know before purchasing?
When purchasing a pair of cricket gloves there are 3 main areas to consider. These areas are protection, comfort and durability.
a : Protection
First and foremost when buying a pair of cricket batting gloves you want a pair of cricket gloves that are going to do their primary task and that is protect the hands and fingers of the batsman. Like all other cricket equipment, what you pay for is what you get.
In the higher end of protective cricket batting gloves and most certainly when it comes to Test match level gloves you can expect to find reinforced fiber casing on the fingers that are most vulnerable. This is generally the second and third fingers on the hand that will grip the cricket bat on the bottom.
As a buyer, if you are going to be facing bowling that is higher than 110 km per hour, you would be well advised in buying cricket gloves that have the extra reinforced casing to ensure your fingers are safe. Most cricket gloves are made of high density foam and covered. Modern cricket gloves provide good protection with higher range gloves like those offered by GM cricket equipment offering things like PORON XRD protective layering. This is the most respected and shock absorbing material across all industries.
b : Comfort
When it comes to comfort there are many layers of comfort. Comfort includes the ability for the batsman to manage the cricket bat with dexterity. Even more importantly though, batsmen love having cricket gloves that keep their hands as dry as possible for as long possible.
Many cricket gloves will have ventilation built into the palm of the cricket glove. This is really good for getting air into the batsman’s hands. The mid to high range of the Kookaburra batting gloves have Max Flo Ventilation in the palm.
As good as the cricket batting gloves are, a batsman’s hands are bound to get sweaty and therefore most cricketers will have more than one pair of cricket batting gloves. The cricket batting gloves have become so good on the ventilation front that there are very few batsmen that bat with cricket batting glove inners. There are still some that like to bat with cricket batting inners.
When looking for an extremely good grip on the bat, you would look for a leather palm for the gloves. There are many great cricket bat glove brands that offer gloves with leather palms. To name a few these include:
GM Cricket Batting Gloves
Gray Nicolls Batting Gloves
Hammer Batting Gloves
Kookaburra Batting Gloves
SG Batting Gloves
Some of the really good pairs of batting gloves use Pittard Quartz Leather like the Kookaburra PRO cricket batting gloves. There have also been offerings from Kookaburra with Kangaroo Leather.
Another factor when it comes to the comfort of a pair of cricket gloves is the thumb. Some players like a two piece thumb on their cricket gloves while others go for a 3 piece thumb. It is a matter of preference in the amount of nimbleness one is used to.
A standard on all cricket gloves these days is the 50mm toweled wristband. This prevents sweat from running down into the batsman’s gloves and is also obviously an effective way for the batsman to mop sweat. Some cricket batting gloves offer a double-sided towel, while others offer only a single sided towel.
c : Durability
Like we have said in this cricket equipment buying bible, a number of times, what you pay for is what you get. Look out for cricket gloves that are manufactured with very high quality material. Things like leather in the palms and fiber casings are giveaways as to what the durability of the cricket gloves are like. Players will often like a lightly used pair of cricket gloves as opposed to brand new. This is to have a broken in pair of batting gloves as opposed to having a stiff pair of batting gloves. This makes it even more important to find a durable pair of cricket batting gloves.
Right is Not Left and Left is Not Right for Cricket Batting Gloves
There is no such thing as a left handers or right handers cricket bat but cricket batting gloves are specific to the handedness. The bottom hand that holds the bat has no padding on the thumb. This is very specific in order to allow the batsman to have control over the bat. This finger is usually hidden behind the handle and is seldom in the firing line. The thumb on the top hand is very much in the firing line and therefore definitely padded. It is therefore important to buy the right glove for right handers and left handers respectively.
d : Designs
There are varying designs in cricket gloves. Many of these designs are purely aesthetic and some players will go for the same design over and over. There is the circular/sausage finger design which is probably the classic design for cricket batting gloves and can be found on many high quality pairs of cricket batting gloves. There is also the square finger design, which has also been found to be very comfortable for cricketers. This is very much an aesthetic thing with many players using and sticking to a design that has worked for them.
e : More than One Pair
If you are serious about your cricket and play a fair amount of cricket then it is really important that you own more than one pair. Over the length of an innings that spans for more than an hour, even with the best possible ventilation there will be a need to change batting gloves. Sweat on the hands can seep through and hampers the ability to properly control the bat.
The best way to ensure that you get the cricket batting gloves that are right for you is by getting in touch with the experts at Cricket Store Online. By consistently getting new stock there are always great specials on extremely high quality cricket gloves with many brands available.
More Cricket Batting Gloves
3: What are cricket helmets & are they safe?
There is nothing more important than your head and when you are batting you want the best possible helmet to protect you head. Aside from being highly protective, a cricket batting helmet needs to be comfortable and have good ventilation.
a : What are the British Standards for Cricket Helmets?
Following a spate of incidents where the ball was getting between the grille of the helmet and the peak of the helmet, the British standards came out with new testing to ensure that cricket helmets were remedying this problem. The British Standards Bureau tested all cricket helmets that were available on the market and released their findings with many helmets passing the tests and some not. The English Cricket Board then adopted these standards as a rule for all professional cricketers. Since then, the ICC has followed suit and have also adopted the fact that all professional cricketers, men and women need to be wearing BS compliant helmet. It goes without saying that any player should look for a batting helmet that meets these standards.
b : Masuri Vision Series Cricket Helmets
One of the top manufacturers for cricket batting helmets is Masuri. Part of their success is that they specialize in helmets for cricket and pretty much nothing else. A Masuri cricket batting helmet is a sign of quality with all of their up-to-date helmets meeting the BS standards. The Masuri Vision series in particular is known to be a helmet that offers great vision to the batsman without compromising on the shell of the helmet or the fact that a ball cannot get between the peak and the grille. Many international cricket stars use Masuri cricket helmets and their quality is suitable and well advised for amateur cricketers as well.
c : Shrey Cricket Helmets
Another cricket helmets manufacturer that has many of their cricket helmets being used by international super stars is Shrey Cricket Helmets. Shrey have many helmets that are compliant with the BS standards. One of the most notable factors of the Shrey Cricket Helmets in particular the Shrey AIR cricket helmets is as to how light they are. These cricket helmets are extremely light but also do not compromise on the safety of the batsmen. There are many varieties of Shrey cricket helmets to suit different sizes and different budgets.
d : Neck Guards and Stem Guards
Following the tragic death of Phil Hughes a lot of thought went into the protection of the batsman’s neck and the back of the batsman’s head. Masuri responded by introducing a Stem Guard that can be fitted to the back of the Masuri Vision Series cricket helmets. The stem guard is a very important piece of equipment and protects an area that is left vulnerable when a batsman sways for instance or plays a pull shot and gets a top edge with his/her head turned. It is well advised that all cricketers, including amateur and junior cricketers wear a helmet that has a stem guard.
With that said it is important to note that the Masuri Stem Guard is manufactured specifically for the Masuri Vision Series Helmet. When fitted to a different helmet, it will not offer the same protective quality, as it is simply not designed for other helmets.
Shrey Cricket Helmets have come up with a neck guard of their own. The neck guard from Shrey is a great addition to the cricket helmet and protects an otherwise vulnerable area. Like the Masuri Stem Guard though, it is important to note that the Shrey Neck Guard is made specifically for Shrey Helmets and it will not be as effective, if effective at all when attached to other helmets.
Neck Guards and Stem Guards on the right helmet are definitely something well worth considering and buying.
e : What do I do if my helmet is hit?
This is one of the most crucial questions that a cricketer should know the answer to. As a piece of head protective gear, it is recommended that if your helmet sustains a blow or sometimes even drops on a hard floor from a decent height, the helmet should be replaced. This is because any type of blow could compromise the structural integrity of the helmet. Compromised structural integrity means that if that same helmet is hit again, it may not do the job of protecting your helmet.
What else is important when buying a cricket helmet?
Size, Size, Size. Size matters. A cricket helmet needs to fit properly in order to ensure that the best possible protection is being given. An ill-fitted helmet, whether the helmet is too big or the helmet is too small can be very dangerous. The helmet will not protect as well as it could or should if it does not fit properly. Speak to experts at Cricket Store Online who can help you with sizing to ensure that you get a helmet that fits well
a : Comfort Features
As we have pointed out, the first thing you want to consider when buying a cricket batting helmet is how well it is going to protect your head. It is then also nice to keep in mind some of the comfort features that many of the modern cricket batting helmets.
Weight- Helmets need not be heavy. Many of the modern cricket helmets are very light. They still offer the protective qualities and having a light cricket helmet makes
Ventilation- A good cricket helmet has ventilation pores so that the head of the batsman can get some air and breathe. Good side ventilation is also important. Shrey, Masuri and GM cricket helmets are all known for their excellent ventilation.
Straps- Great cricket helmets come with high quality and very comfortable chin straps. The strap should be adjustable and either with a click fastening mechanism or Velcro strap but should be comfortable.
Sweat Pads- There is no doubt that a lot of sweat is shed in the helmet. Many of the good helmets allow you to pull the sweat pads out and machine wash them. Having a clean inside of your helmet goes a long way to ensuring optimal comfort.
More on Cricket Helmets