Imperfections in Cricket Bats
We always get asked about various markings, blemishes and imperfections found in Cricket Bats. Many cricketers look for bats which have perfectly straight grains and are aesthetically pleasing. Such near flawless bats come at a cost and can be found in our custom made grade 1+ range of bats.
Here at 777 Cricket we only make bats from unbleached English Willow which is grown naturally and ethically sourced. There will undoubtedly be some imperfections in the wood due to it's natural growth cycle. In a lot of these cases such imperfections will have no effect on the performance on the bat.
Probably the most common imperfection found. These are generally very small (up to 1cm in diameter). They normally are present in the edge and/or back of the bat although sometimes they are visible on the face. They will not affect the playing ability of the bat.
Specks are linear lines which run down and along the grain of the willow. It is believed they have been caused by small larvae or insects during the growth of the wood. The speck is purely cosmetic and does not have any effect on the bat.
Butterfly Stain as it suggests; resembles the shape of a butterfly through the willow. The staining actually adds strength to the finished bat, giving longer life of the bat with much less likely hood of the bat breaking. The larger white line visible in the picture indicts a more severe staining which adds weight the bat. This is called tiger staining or bar staining.
A common imperfection which is caused when for some reason the tree has stopped growing for possibly one season. There is no weakness in the bat and they will certainly not break along the false growth line which run parallel to the normal grains (visible with the dark brown thicker line in the picture).
The tree has been trimmed very late and the resulting branch has been left to grow for many years. As long as the knot it is not on the face of the bat it will have very little detrimental effect on the bat. Most dead knots are normally on the back of the bat.
There are many more imperfections that can be found in a cricket bat. The above imperfections we have identified do not have any effect if they are not on the playing area of a bat. It is believed some professional cricketers are asking for butterfly effect cricket bats for there longevity and perceived 'extra punch'.
Former England International cricketer Alistair Cook posted a picture of his bat on Facebook which clearly shows a dead knot in the rear. So you would then wonder about the grade of the willow? Such a player is most likely to us a Grade 1 or Grade 1+ bat. However, this only further reiterates the thought on what many professional cricketers have said to us, “its all about the bat 'feeling good' to you.”
Inevitably bat selection is in the eye of the beholder. Our advice would be get a bat that you feel comfortable with in terms of weight, balance and feel.
Here at 777 Cricket we are committed to help you find a bat that best suits you.