With such a wide range of cricket bats available on the market today, you may often find yourself asking – how do I choose the right bat for me?

Basically, for most players the choice comes down to a number of different factors, most notably:

- The height of the player
- The weight of the bat
- Your budget
- Regularity & type of use

In this post I’ll take you through each of these and try to provide some helpful guidelines as to what to look out for when purchasing that brand new cricket bat. I’ll also list a couple of advanced considerations that more senior/experienced players may look to take into account. 

How Your Height Translates Into a Cricket Bat Size

The table below gives a rough guideline as to what size of bat you should be purchasing based on your height.

Height (Feet & Inches)

Recommended Bat Size

4ft and under


4ft – 4ft 3 inches


4ft 3 – 4ft 6 inches


4ft 6 – 4ft 9 inches


4ft 9 – 4ft 11 inches


4ft 11 – 5ft 2 inches


5ft 2 – 5ft 6 inches


5ft 6 – 5ft 9 inches


5ft 9 – 6ft 2 inches

Short Handle

6ft 2 inches and above

Long Handle

This should be the primary consideration when buying a cricket bat. Especially for junior players who still have some growing to do! If a player is 5ft 5” tall and still growing whilst looking to buy their first bat then perhaps it would be wise to consider buying a Harrow…so you don’t end up spending money on a bat that is going to be too small in a short amount of time. The harrow bat would then be usable for longer and thus a lot better value for money.

The majority of senior players will be playing with either short or long handle bats, with short handle bats being more readily available on the market. Senior players will also have several other more complex factors to consider when choosing a bat that is appropriate for them…these will be covered here. 

The Weight of the Bat

The weight of the bat you are looking to buy should always be considered in parallel with the size. You could buy a bat based purely on the size guide that I included above, but it could still be too heavy for the player to use if effectively. Using a bat that is too heavy can hinder the performances of the player in quite a significant way, causing them to play their shots a lot slower and with much less power. This is not exactly desirable when facing a difficult spell of bowling! One way to test if a bat is an appropriate weight for you is to go to a store and try holding the bat at arm’s length in front of you. If you can do this comfortably for an extended period of time then this is probably a suitable bat for you to be using. This simple test, when combined with the size guide contained in the section above, will be a pretty good indication of what bat to buy.

In my opinion as long as the size of the bat is correct, junior cricketers (16 years old and under) should err on the side of purchasing lighter bats rather than ones that challenge them in terms of the strength required to wield them. A lighter bat allows a younger player to play strokes more freely and quickly and thus will allow them to develop a better technique and play with more confidence. Playing with a bat that is too heavy at a young age is just unnecessary and is something that I think should be avoided if possible. Senior players who have achieved their full physical development have more flexibility with the weight of bat that they choose to use. Most bats weigh in the range of 1.2-1.4kg, however there are bats that are lighter/heavier than these limits. In my opinion once you reach the senior level of cricket you will probably have picked up enough knowledge over your time in junior cricket to determine which kind of bat suits you the most. Do you prefer a lighter bat that is quick and easy to move around? Or do you prefer one with a bit more weight and a bigger middle? It really does come down to individual preference at that point.

If you have the opportunity to visit a store that sells cricket equipment, spend a bit of time holding and ‘shadow batting’ with various bats and see which one feels the most comfortable to use.

Your Budget

Obviously the cost of the bat will be a huge factor in your final decision, and hopefully I can help give you some guidance in this area based on the research that I’ve done. A cricket bat is an investment, and is a piece of equipment that will hopefully last you a long time. It is for this reason that in my opinion players should consider spending that little bit extra to land themselves a quality and durable bat. 

- If you are looking for a cheap optionthen you will see that there are many cricket bats available for under ₹8000. But it should be noted that this level of pricing is often reserved for junior bats or very low quality senior bats. For juniors that are changing bats every year or so I would say that this is a perfectly acceptable price range to be shopping within.

- At the top end of the price range you’ll find the highest quality senior bats.These are likely to cost around the ₹70000 to ₹150000 mark for the most branded bats. The bats in this price range are usually made from the finest willow available. This means they tend to possess the biggest sweet spots whilst still managing to maintain a lightweight feel, which is what we all want in a bat! 

- The majority of cricket bats that people buy in India is between the ₹8000 to ₹35000 range and there is plenty of choice as well as quality to suit the average players’ requirements here.

- The highest quality junior bats will usually cost you around ₹15000 to ₹25000.

- Regularity & Type of Use

Another couple of questions to ask yourself before you make your purchase are – ‘How much will I use this bat?’ and also ‘What sort of cricket will I be using the bat for?’. The answers to these questions will give you even more information about how much money you should be willing to fork out.

This is by no means a critical issue when choosing what to purchase, but just an added element that some players may wish to keep in the back of their mind.

Custom Bat Making

If you really can’t choose from the thousands of pre-made bats available in stores and online, then you may wish to have one custom built.

There are a variety of companies available that custom make cricket bats, and you can find many of these with a simple web search. If you’re interested in this, then I’d recommend doing a bit of shopping around to see what level of service is on offer, and for what price as it seems to vary quite significantly depending on the manufacturer.

For example, if you are a veteran player, or even if you’re a player that’s been part of the game for just a few years and you know you plan on continuing for many more then you may be more inclined to spend a bit more on a cricket bat. However, if you are just beginning your cricketing journey and are unsure about how long you plan to stick around…maybe don’t spend all your life savings just yet!

Further Considerations

This section features two more advanced considerations that more experienced players may wish to take into account when purchasing a cricket bat.

Pitch Conditions

Some pitches are bouncier than others, and depending on what sort of pitch you play on, you may like to choose a bat that will help you to be more effective on that surface.

Varying locations of ‘sweet spots’ on a cricket bat

What do I mean by this you ask? Well, most modern cricket bats possess a ‘sweet spot’. This is an area on the bat where the willow is thicker than at any other point. When the ball connects with this section of the bat as opposed to the others it will usually travel a lot faster and a lot further! It’s possible to buy bats that have sweet spots in the middle of the blade, but you can also buy ones where the sweet spot is a lot lower. An example of different sweet spots can be seen below.

A batsman who plays on a bouncier surface regularly may prefer to select a bat where the sweet spot is a lot higher, to give the ball the extra chance to connect with that part of the bat. However, a batsman who tends to play on a slower pitch with less bounce may be inclined to choose a bat with a lower sweet spot, as the ball will tend to skid on to the bat a lot more.

Characteristics of the bat that are usually customisable are things like: the grade of willow, the size, the grains, weight, sweet spot location, edge width, handle length, grip texture, toe profile along with many others. Setting these individual characteristics allow the buyer to create a truly unique bat for themselves.

What To Do Next…

Ok, so let’s now assume you’ve bought your bat and you cant wait to take it in the nets…

Don’t do that just yet! There are a couple of steps/checks you should still look to carry out before you start to use it!

The first step is to oil the bat by applying two light coats of linseed oil to the surface, allowing the bat to dry in between both coats. The oiling process helps prevent the bat from cracking by introducing moisture into the blade.

Once the oiling process is complete the bat will be ready to be ‘knocked in’. Some bats can be bought pre-knocked in, and therefore these bats will require less work. For bats that aren’t pre-knocked in, a hardwood mallet should be used to strike its face and edges. This helps to make the willow grains more compact and makes sure that the material is fully prepared to withstand the impact caused by a real cricket ball!

To make the finest quality cricket bats requires the careful selection of the world's best raw materials

The timber we use is Salix Alba Caerulea (Cricket Bat Willow), grown in England. The willow is renewably harvested across the whole of England and sold through the wood yards of Essex and Suffolk. Only the highest grades of air dried willow are hand selected by our willow merchants. Air drying takes roughly 15 months of drying in the air In English conditions. It’s a long process and the clefts are very expensive. Kiln sting is the process used by commercial willow suppliers and it takes just around 4 weeks but the willow becomes artificially dry and the ping of the bat is a lot less. The density of the wood and consistency of the grain through the playing area of the bat is of vital importance to the end balance and performance. Cricket bat willow is a cultivated timber which grows in large plantations is wetland areas throughout Essex, Sufolk and Norfolk. Each tree is individually planted by hand and during its natural life-span, the willow will be tended by the grower to ensure that the tree will be suitable for bat making. For each willow that is felled, two new trees are planted. In this way the industry, countryside and the actual species are protected. Cricket bat making it craft based on conservation.

Saliix Alba Caerulea - Cicket Bat Willow, close - bark willow

Willows grow to a maximum height of 21-27m(70-90ft), diameter 0.9-1.2m(3-4ft). The tree will be encouraged to branch out at about 3m (10') height and are generally grown in plantations at about 12 yard centres, 10 yard centres if they are on river banks. Trees grown for manufacture of cricket bats are felled when they reach a circumference of about 56".

Bat Making - Willow Properties

Quality of timber is considerably affected by the general habit of the tree. Cricket bat willow is characterised by extremely rapid growth and a shapely habit, these two factors combine to produce straight grained lightweight wood which is without equal for cricket bats, but under less favorable conditions timber of inferior quality may be produced.

Colour: Heartwood - Pinkish

Sapwood: Nearly white. Width of sapwood varies according to species and growth conditions, being particularly wide in fast grown willow and white willow.

Grain: Straight textured fine and even.

Weight: Average about 450kg/m3 seasoned. High quality cricket bat willow is rather lighter in weight - 340-420kg/m3

Cricket bat willow values

Moisture content

Bending strength

Modulus of elasticity










There is little movement in cricket bat willow - 0.5% radial movement in 60% relative humidity. The willow dries well and quite rapidly, but local pockets of moisture are apt to remain in the timber. Special care is needed when testing the moisture content to ensure that reasonable uniformity is achieved.

Only the best boles of cricket bat willow are used for cricket bats. Other material of this species and timber of other willows is used for a variety of purposes requiring a lightweight, easily worked timber. Uses include artificial limbs, toys, chip baskets and other basketwork.

Cricket bat willow is grown mainly in the Eastern and South Eastern counties of England, though it will grow successfully in other parts of the country if the site is carefully selected. It grows well near running water, but not in marshy, waterlogged ground. This species of willow is fast growing, and it is possible to obtain trees of suitable diameter with a 7 - 10ft clear bole in 18 years from the time of planting the sets, which is the usual method of propagation. The trees are tended very carefully as they are subject to disease and defects which detract seriously from the quality of the timber for bat making, buds are rubbed off the stem regularly to prevent the formation of lower branches which causes knots in the timber.

After felling, the lower 3.5m length of the trunk is sawn into 3 or 4 rounds each of about 700mm long, these are then split longitudinally into clefts in a process known as riving. This process is highly skilled and only experience will determine the best way to split the timber so as to avoid any imperfections and maximize the amount of top quality timber that will eventually make up the finished bat.

The cricket bat industry differs from most other timber users in requiring abnormal width of white or light coloured sapwood that is produced by an exceptionally fast rate of growth on rich moist soils. The other quality most desired is freedom from defects, because straight grain combined with resilience, toughness and lightness are essential. Major defects that occur in the billets can be avoided when it is cleft, but others such as small knots are allowable in second quality bats.


Most commercial manufacturers obtain their willow from suppliers in the south of England the largest of which are J.S Wright and Sons. The willow is supplied as clefts; nowadays usually kiln dried, although J S Wright & Sons offer traditionally air-dried willow, which is seasoned for over a year. When first cut, the clefts can weigh up to 10kg but they lose more than half that weight through the drying process.

English Willow Grading

When selecting your new bat - the grade of timber is most likely going to be considered -  JS Wright & Sons offer the following guidelines - 

Grade 1  

A Grade 1 is the best looking blade, though it will not necessarily play the best. There may be some red wood evident on the edge of the blade. The grain on the face will be straight and there will be a minimum of 6 grains visible. There may be the odd small knot or speck in the edge or back but the playing area should be clean.

Grade 2 

A Grade 2 blade is also very good quality and normally a larger amount of red wood can be seen on the edge of a blade, this has no effect on the playing ability of the bat it is purely cosmetic. Again there will be at least 6 straight grains on the face of the blade with maybe some blemishes, pin knots or “speck” visible, we also put the top 2% of the excellent quality butterfly blades that we get into Grade 2.

Grade 3

This is  a middle grade that is produced in much higher numbers than the top grades and it offers very good value for money. A Grade 3 Blade has up to half colour across the blade which again has no direct relation to the playing ability of the wood, it just has less visual attraction. There will be a minimum of 5 grains on the face of the blade which may not always be perfectly straight. Again some small knots or butterfly stain may be present with sometimes more prominent “speck”.

Grade 4 

A Grade 4 Blade is normally over half colour or contains butterfly stain. It will still play as well as the other grades. Any number of grains are possible with often only 4 grains, the willow containing ‘butterfly’ stain is very strong, there could also be more “speck” and other faults.

How is a Cricket Bat Made Step by Step?

Making a cricket a cricket bat is a well defined process. The main phases of manufacturing a cricket bat are listed below:

1. Cutting or Machining Process

The process starts with cutting or machining the willow. The trunk of the willow is given an approximate shape which is known as clefts. Before a perfect shape is given, their ends are dipped in wax. This wax is air-dried for approximately a year’s time. Clefts are then graded into four levels on the basis of straightness, width, blemishes, etc. The size of the bat should not be more than 38 inches and the width should not exceed 4.25 inches.

2. Pressing Process

As the name suggests, the pressing process involves pressing the fibres close. This helps in shaping the bat through compressing and making it a solid compact willow. It is one of the most important steps of bat making that will eventually define the performance and durability of the bat.

3. Fitting the Handle

After the pressing process, the blade is sliced at the top to create space for a handle to be attached. The handle is fixed into this space and the adhesives are applied. The handle is key in providing the bat with spring like capabilities and forms an essential part of the bat

4. Shaping the Bat

A draw knife is used in giving a desired shape to the bat. The altercations are more specific in nature such as rounding off the toe and filing away the unnecessary

5. Finishing Operations

Once the edges and the face has been sanded down, which makes the bat smoother, the bat is then polished by a bee wax compound. This helps in keeping the moisture out and letting the linseed oil in. Once the handle is bound, a string of rubber is then applied on the handle which gives the batsman a desired grip on the bat and also gives it a smoother feel, making it easier to hold. A toe guard along with the brand sticker is then

Knocking In: Why we do it!

Almost all new cricket bats require knocking in before use. Knocking in is the process of hardening and conditioning the surface of the blade and there are two reasons for knocking in;

- To protect the bat from cracking and therefore increase its usable life

- To improve the middle of the bat so the middle is bigger and better

- Just in case you did not know, the nature of the game of cricket is that a hard ball is propelled at high speed towards the batsman who swings a wooden bat aiming to hit the ball. This intense contact will cause a bat that is not prepared correctly to crack up very quickly, therefore having a very short life.

Cricket bats are pressed in the bat making workshop using a mechanical press. The mechanical press applies up to 2 tons/square inch of pressure to the face of the bat through a roller. Willow is a very soft timber in its natural state and it has to be pressed so to form a hard, resilient layer on the surface. Once this has been done, the bat can be shaped.

The finished bat still needs a final hardening, as the mechanical presses are unable to completely protect the bat, or get the perfect performance required from the blade. This requires knocking in by hand with a mallet. While it is possible to prepare a bat solely by pressing, this compresses the wood too deep into the blade, which dramatically reduces the performance of the bat. A bat pressed heavily will have a small middle and the ball will not travel as far as with a bat pressed lightly and knocked in by hand.

Heavily pressed bats do not break so some firms over press bats to keep their warrantee work down. This ruins the middle of the bat and the ball does not ping off the middle as it should. We occasionally

get asked to try to improve the middle of over pressed bats - this is a tricky task and not always successful.

At the stage when the bat is purchased there are different ways of preparing it for the knocking in process. I recommend the following process as repeated trials in bat workshops have shown me that it works far better than other methods.

Raw linseed oil should be used to moisten the surface of the bat and enable the fibres to become supple and knit together therefore forming an elastic surface. This is more likely to stretch on impact, rather than crack. Raw linseed is used due to the fact that it stays moist for longer than boiled linseed. About a teaspoonful should be applied to the surface of the bat.

I recommend that oil should be applied 3 times before the process of compressing the face begins. Each coat of oil should be about a teaspoon full which should be spread the oil over the face of the bat using your fingers. Spread the leftover linseed oil over the edges and toe of the bat. Let each coat of oil soak in overnight and repeat the process.

When the three coats of oil have been applied the knocking in process can begin. This should be done using a Hardwood bat mallet as these provide much better performance than a ball mallet, and therefore speed up the process.

Start by hitting the middle of the bat just hard enough to create a dent (this is surprisingly hard) and hold the bat up to the light to check if you are making a dent. Gradually compress the face of the bat around this dent so the face of the bat is level and you cannot see the initial dent any more.

The edges require special attention: they need to be rounded off so that the hard new ball cannot damage them too much. The edges should be struck at 45 degrees to the face so that the mallet can compress the willow. Similar to knocking in the face, make one dent on the edge and then gradually even out the edge so that the whole surface has a smooth, rounded appearance.

If the bat is hit at 90 degrees to the face it reduces the width of the bat and is covering an area that is not mechanically pressed. The likelihood of cracking increases and you should not be hitting the ball flush on the edge in any case.

With a hardwood bat mallet the knocking in process should take from between 10 to 15 sessions of about 10 minutes each. Once you have completed this process take the bat into the nets and play a few shots against an old ball. If the bat is showing very deep seam marks to the point of almost cracking the face of the bat then it needs more compressing. One will always get seam marks on the face of the bat but they should not be too deep.

The price of a bat does not have any effect on whether a bat cracks or not. The best bats are usually more expensive, but liable to crack more than cheaper bats because the willow is often softer. When a bat has expired buy another one!

Back in the late 1800s the bats were subjected to huge amounts of pressure at the pressing stage to make the willow very hard. If the blade started to show signs of cracking during this process it was rejected. Linseed oil was very often used to saturate the blade in order to soften the wood, make it more comfortable to use (over pressed bats jar on impact), and get a bit of performance out of it. As an example, WG Grace would have a few of the junior members of his club using his linseed soaked bats for a season or so before he would deem them ready for use.

When a bat is pressed very hard it is very difficult to hit the ball off the square. The thin protective layer of hard (pressed) willow becomes a thick layer that is too deep into the willow. Hard pressed willow does not have the desired elastic qualities of the soft pressed willow, meaning the ball does not ping off the bat. Some manufacturers over press their bats as the harder wood does not crack as readily, reducing the need for warrantee work. Their bats, however, have very small middles.

At Matrrixx, we strongly recommend to have your bat knocked in professionally when you purchase it. This helps to get a better performance and generally extends the life of the bat. It also relieves you and

your family members of a time consuming, noisy and monotonous process. Ask at your local cricket dealer if they can have your bat knocked in by a bat-maker - it should not cost too much at all and is certainly a worthwhile investment.

It is worth noting that damage can never be totally eliminated due to the hard nature of the ball and the speed of contact with the bat. A good bat correctly knocked in will last for about a thousand runs.

Matrrixx cricket sell hardwood knocking in mallets too for your convenience.


We offer a full 6 month warranty from the date of purchase with all of our bats. This warranty covers all repairs required that are caused as a result of reasonable use of the Matrrixx cricket bat. Reasonable use involves, and is limited to, the using of the Matrrixx cricket bat to hit good quality leather balls specifically designed for use in the sport of cricket. If the Matrrixx cricket bat is deemed un-repairable within this 6 month period then a free replacement will be offered. Matrrixx Ventures Inc. reserve the right to renege on this warranty if they believe that the bat has been used in ways not deemed reasonable. Matrrixx Ventures Inc. also reserve the right to renege on this warranty if labels were removed or chosen not to be applied. Any bat modifications or repairs that are not carried out by Matrrixx like binding on the toe or shoulders mean the bat is not covered under warranty. No cash refunds will be offered and the postage costs relating to the returning of bats or the replacement (if appropriate) bat will be borne by the customer. Machine knocked bats will not carry any warranty as it wrecks the handle as well as the blade of the bat.


Due to the nature of the sport, some reasonably foreseeable impacts may exceed the limitations of our products. Matrrixx Ventures Inc. accepts no responsibility whatsoever, for any injuries sustained or damages caused to property by the use of our products whether they be damaged or otherwise.
If you have any questions regarding any of our policies, please email Matrrixx Ventures Inc.