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Cricket Equipment: Cricket bats and balls

by on March 19, 2009
in Cricket Master Class

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A bat is a piece of wood used to play with in the game of cricket. It is usually made of willow wood. According to reports, the first mention of this piece of wood appeared in the year 1624. Generally, willow wood is used but there are many variations. The handle of the bat is called the shoulder while the part of the bat used to hit the ball is called the blade. The blade is made thicker so that more power is exerted on the ball to make the ball spin for a longer distance.

Most of the bats in older times were handmade but due to the advanced technology and large scale production , most of them are made with machines. Before the 18th century, bats were generally in the shape of hockey sticks of today. Gradually, cricket bats were modified into the shape they exist today. The oldest existing bat dates way back to the 18th century. The exact year is 1729 and the bat is kept on exhibition at the Sandham Room at the Oval in London. It is of utmost importance to understand that if a cricketer wants to adopt Cricket as a career, cricketing equipment needs to be of high quality. Knowledge about Cricket bats is of utmost importance thus.

Gray Nicolls is a cricketing gear and apparel manufacturing company based in England. It was founded by the world champion in Racquets, H.J Gray, who started the racquet-making company in 1855. The original company was named H.J.Gray and Sons and later on they started making cricket bats as well. L. J. Nicolls started the production of cricket bats in his workshop, located in East Susses in 1876. This is the place where the company is based till date, reminding its customers of a rich heritage to look back upon. Both of these companies, came together to form Gray Nicolls in the later part of 1940s.

The company gained much recognition during the 1950s and the 1960s when almost all cricket players started using this brand. In fact, at one time, the captains of the five test-playing nations in the world used cricket bats from Gray Nicolls. They were Ted Dexter, Richie Benaud, Frank Worrell, John Reid, and Trevor Goddard. During this time, Gray Nicolls was the first company who experimented with different technologies on bats to make them more efficient. In fact, they were the first company to use colored labels, which soon became a rage with all other manufacturers following suit.

Gunn and Moore is one of the most famous names in the world of cricketing equipment manufacturers. They are a company based in Colwick, Nottinghamshire in England. They are basically a sports and apparel company which specialize in cricket. Tracing back its history, Gunn and Moore was founded way back in 1885 when English test batsman William Gunn and local businessman Thomas James Moore got together to form this company. They are primarily known for the high quality cricket bats they manufacture though they have vested interests in apparel and other cricketing equipment as well. Over the years, it has developed into one of the biggest names in the world of cricketing equipment manufacturers with a number of international players endorsing its products.

For instance, the current South African captain Graeme Smith is one of the main names signed on by this company to endorse their bats. Apart from Smith, there is also Michael Vaughan, who was a former England captain as well as Anil Kumble who is the highest wicket-taker from India. The current lot of bats which are produced by Gunn and Moore are Catalyst, Hero DXM, Icon DXM, and Purist II. This fact cannot be denied that for a good cricket career it is important to use good cricketing equipment.

Cricket balls are balls made from the core of cork and are used to play in the game of cricket as the name suggests. The core of the cork is layered many times and wound in a tight fill, and is then covered by a layer of leather. The leather is then sewn with a slightly raised seam which is used by the bowlers to grip the cricket balls. New cricket balls are used at the beginning of a match and they are replaced at the end of 34 over, according to new rules. This happens only in an ODI match whereas in a test match, the ball is not changed till the end of 80 over. Other than this, there are no rules for changing the cricket balls but they may be done so if the umpires decide that the condition of the ball is too bad or if the ball is lost. There are different weight requirements for men’s and women’s cricket balls and they are 5.5-5.75 ounces for a men’s match. There is no fixed weight denoted for a women’s cricket match but the ball needs to be slightly smaller and lighter than the cricket balls used in men’s matches.

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