The sport of Cricket attributes its name to a number of sources, such as the Old English word “cricc” or “cryce,” the Old French “criquet,” and the Middle Dutch “krick(-e).” Whichever of these words truly originated the name of the game, they are all basically defined as a staff, club or stick. As such, an important component in playing cricket is, of course, the Cricket Bat.
The cricket bat’s blade is a wooden block with a flat striking face and has a ridge on its back side which serves to concentrate wood in the center wherein the ball is usually hit. A splice connects the blade to a long cane handle that resembles that of a tennis racket. A feature of the bat is a wooden spring design wherein the handle and the blade meet. The blade’s edges that are lying closest to the handle are called the shoulders of the bat, while the blade’s bottom is called the toe of the bat.
A cricket bat is customarily made out of willow wood, particularly from a White Willow variety appropriately known as the Cricket Bat Willow. This specific type of wood is used because it is lightweight, as well as for its toughness and shock resistant properties, which keeps it from easily getting dented or splintered by the impact of a speeding cricket ball. The process of making the bat involves treating the wood with raw unboiled linseed oil, which serves to give the wood added protection. The handle of a cricket bat is typically enclosed in a rubber grip, while the bat’s face can be coated with a protective film.
Modern cricket bats are commonly hand made in Pakistan or India because of their very low labor costs. The process of making cricket bats by hand is called podshaving. However, there are still some cricket bat manufacturers based in other countries, specifically in England, Australia and New Zealand, which make bats with the use of CNC lathes.
The rules of the game of cricket are known, fittingly enough, as the Laws of Cricket. As to how large is a cricket bat, it is stipulated in Law 6 that the size of a bat should not be more than 38 inches long (965 millimeters), and the width of its blade should be no more than 4.25 inches wide (108 millimeters). While cricket bats do not have a standard weight, they usually weigh from 2 pounds 7 ounces to 3 pounds (1.1 to 1.4 kilograms).