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Why are English willow cricket bats so expensive?

Why are English willow cricket bats so expensive?

Jayawardene kissing his bat. (Photo Source: X(Twitter)

Top-level professional cricketers rely on English willow cricket bats to score their runs. Cricket bats have gone through major changes over the years and the prices have considerably skyrocketed. Many fans wonder why English willow cricket bats are so costly. Let’s delve into the details of what goes behind the making of a cricket bat and how the prices vary.

Several renowned cricket-bat manufacturing companies, including Sareen Sports, SS, are situated in India. However, the wood used to make the best-quality bats needs to be shipped all the way from England. 75% of the willow for the world’s cricket bats is supplied by JS Wright & Sons. They are an English willow tree supplier that has been in the industry since the 1800s.

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English willow bats are known for their durability and are not too heavy. Their prices can go up to 10 times as much as Kashmir willow bats, which are comparatively heavy. Growing willow trees is a strenuous and long-term process, requiring minute attention to key details. Using them to create a perfect bat takes more than 15 years with a careful eye and years of experience.

The trees need to be regularly inspected and maintained so they grow slowly and produce a clean, tight-grained cleft. However, the ideal trees could be inadequate in supply as the game enters into newer countries, like the USA. An English willow tree is ready to be cut down when it is 60 inches in circumference. Once the trees reach the sawmill, the goal is to carve as many bats as possible from each one.

“Roughly, if you are to hug the tree, if you could just about touch your fingers, depending on how long your arms are, then it’s near enough ready,” Oliver Wright, who inspects trees for JS Wright & Sons, told Business Insider.

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Meanwhile, Jeremy Ruggles, who is the director at JS Wright & Sons, revealed that on average, 40 bats are made out of one tree. Their personal record of most bats carved out from a single tree is a whopping 700.

With so much time and effort being put behind the scenes to make the perfect bat, it is understandable how their prices have increased substantially over the years.

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