It’s common knowledge that knowing how things are made is fascinating. It is especially fascinating in sports. If you saw a tennis ball after learning how many materials and processes it goes through, you probably won’t see tennis balls the same way again.
It takes a lot to create a cricket bat. It may look like a piece of wood to most people. It is actually several pieces of wood and material that are put together in a strategic way. If the wood is placed and nailed right, it can set a ball off 200 years with one hit.
Cricket equipment brands typically use in white willow, specifically salix alba. This kind of white willow can be found in Europe and western and central Asia. This type of wood is needed for being tough and shock-resistant. It is also lightweight. This brings high impact to the cricket balls.
Trunks from willow trees are cut into blocks. These cricket bat-sized blocks are “clefts.” The clefts of the blocks of wood are dipped in wax. They will then be air-dried for a year.
A craftsman will grade the clefts into four categories. They will be analyzed based on how straight the grains are, how wide the grains are, and blemishes. Even though a Grade 1 bat will look better than a Grade 3 bat, it does not mean one performs better or worse than the other.
A machine compresses the wood together. It is then spliced at the top which turns into a handle.
The rest of the carving process is done by hand. Craftsmen are in charge of varnishing, softening, and shaping the cricket bats. The edges and the flat surfaces of the bat are rubbed with sandpaper.
The bat is further polished with beeswax. This keeps moisture out and protects the bat from decay.
The handle is then bound by string and sent out to be designed, painted, and colored according to other cricket equipment brands.