Just like the numerous changes that cricket has witnessed over the years, the equipment used in the game have evolved too. From six-day Test matches to five, from 60 overs one-day matches to 50 overs, and now T20s. In the same way, cricket bats have transformed drastically to meet the current requirements of fast-paced cricket.
Over the years, the number of bat manufacturing companies has increased immensely. With the amount of cricket being played today all over, almost every brand is well known.
Moreover, the advent of T20 cricket has increased the importance of bats, with a range of sizes and weights to play more unorthodox shots. Even the mongoose bat, a smaller version of the standard-sized cricket bat, was introduced during the third edition of IPL.
Let us take a look at some of the best cricket bat manufacturers in the world.
1. Sareen Sports Industries (SS)
Sareen Sports Industries was started in 1969 by N.K. Sareen, but entered the Indian cricket market in 1976 with the launch of their SS Sunridges bat. The company exports their bats to UK, Australia, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
English willow includes different types of products like the SS Gladiators, SS Ton Matrix, SS Professional and many more. There are also some special editions under the English willow named Yuvi 20/20, SIR-RICHARDS.
SS Gusty, SS Extreme, SS R-7 are some of the bats with Kashmir Willow.
SS bats have an excellent power to hit big shots and can maintain balance as well. These are handmade bats which provide good absorption capability and have thick edges. These edges are designed rounded especially for aggressive and hard hitting batsmen.
The handle is made of 12 pieces of Sarawak cane which, in a way, helps to handle powerful shots and shock absorption. A noteworthy feature of this bat is its special scale grip for better control and comfort which makes it the first choice of many players.
Kumar Sangakkara, Sri Lankan legend, used these bats almost throughout his career. Sangakkara served Sri Lanka cricket for over 15 years and has witnessed memorable wins which includes a victory over India in the ICC World T20 final in 2014.Furthermore, he became the first player in the world to score 4 consecutive centuries in the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2015.
A lot of international cricketers like Yuvraj Singh, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shikhar Dhawan etc. use different types of bats manufactured by SS. Sareen Sports Industries is indeed one of the top brands today in the market.
2. Gunn & Moore (GM)
Gunn & Moore, commonly known as GM is a sports equipment and Apparel Company which was founded in 1885 by the England Test batsman ‘William Gunn’ and a local businessman ‘Thomas Moore’. This England-based company is most recognized for manufacturing cricket bats. GM bats are exclusively made in England and most of the county cricket players use these bats.
This company produces different types of bats like Mana, Paragon, Six6, Maxi, Octane etc. The manufacturers of GM make all their 125 years of experience count while crafting their cricket bats.GM bats are made of latest materials and come with innovative and extraordinary design. The face of GM bats is flat and their edges are massive up to 38mm. Also, the pick-up of GM bats is surprisingly light with concentrated power.
Sarah Taylor, the wicketkeeper batswoman who is known for her serene batting, prefers using GM bats. Debuting at an early age of 21 in all the formats of the game, Sarah scored an emphatic century in her very first ODI and showed the world that she was here to stay. Now for a last decade or so Sarah remains a vital member for her side despite taking a break from the International cricket earlier this year.
International Players like Corey Anderson, Quinton De Kock, James Vince, Ross Taylor, Jenny Gun, Amy Jones etc. prefer using GM bats. Gun & Moore certainly make it to the top 5 when it comes to crafting the bats.
3. Kookaburra Sport
Kookaburra is an Australian sports equipment company named after the company founder AG Thompson’s pet Kookaburra, a member of Australian Kingfisher family. The company, established in 1890, is famous for producing cricket balls for the One Day Internationals and Test matches but it is also known for its bats.
A notable feature of Kookaburra bats is they are handmade and not machine manufactured. Kookaburra includes different types namely, Kahuna, Dynasty, Storm, Onyx, Ghost. The features of these bats vary in many aspects, however, the Kookaburra market is ruled by Kahuna.
These bats are made of highest grade willow which is naturally air dried after harvesting. The design is hand-crafted and delivers optimum power pick up ratio. Bat’s dynamic power shaped face enhances the scope for explosive strokeplay.
The handle of the bat is made of 12 piece sarawak cane and edges are square shaped. One feature which separates Kookaburra from all others is despite having a huge profile, it is amazingly light in weight.
AB de Villiers, the former captain of South Africa’s One Day and Test teams, uses the Kookaburra Kahuna bat with which he has played so many unforgettable knocks. De Villiers, through his batting, has won games single-handedly for his country. There is so much passion in him for this game which eventually showed in the heartbreaking semifinal of the ICC World Cup 2015 against hosts New Zealand.
As it is an Australian based manufacturer, Kookaburra bats are mostly used by Australian players. Adam Gilchrist, Ricky Ponting, Glenn Maxwell, Justin Langer, Michael Hussey, Chris Rogers being some of them. The varieties of willows have also attracted well-known international players like Martin Guptill, Ian Bell, Jos Buttler etc. Kookaburra, with its own features, is one of the best in the world in producing bats.
4. Spartan Sports
Spartan Sports is another Australian company that markets a wide range of sports products and equipment. Spartan, unlike others, develops a range of bats in conjunction with cricketers including MS Dhoni, Chris Gayle, Eoin Morgan, Michael Clarke and Viv Richards. Some of those are the MC Legacy Limited Edition Bat dedicated to former Australian captain Michael Clarke, the MSD7 Limited Edition Bat in the name of India’s limited overs captain, MS Dhoni, and Chris Gayle’s the Boss Full Size Bat.
These bats are designed in an excellent manner which has the ability to fulfill the demands of modern cricket. The face of bats is flat with slight curvature whereas the toe is like a square shape to increase the hitting area. The handle of Spartan bats is round with nine pieces of cane and rubber to deliver the finest grip. It has a maximum edge thickness.
MS Dhoni, the only captain in the world to win all the ICC trophies, has tasted quite some success during his captaincy tenure. Spartan is his companion in all his cricketing endeavours so far.
Also Read: Five players who used heavy bats
Also, other players like Andre Russell, Joe Burns, David Weise etc. prefer this brand. The weight of these bats is a little bit on the heavier side but its other features certainly make it one of the best in the world.
5. Sanspareils Greenlands (SG)
Sanspareils Greenlands, mostly known as SG, is a leading manufacturer of cricket equipment in the world. Brothers Dwarkanath and Kedarnath Anand established Sanspareils Co. in 1931 which manufactured a wide range of sports goods.
In 1940, they started a company named Greenlands to facilitate export at a time when the world was overshadowed by World War II. Eventually combining both, the company was universally named as Sanspareils Greenlands. Alike Kookaburra, it is famous for balls which are used in Test matches and Ranji Trophy in India.
SG has been exporting bats manufactured in Meerut to the UK and Australia for most of the international cricket brands.
English Willow bats of SG includes special editions like Sunny Legend and RSD Select, while others are Sierra 350, Sierra 250, Nexus Xtreme, Super Cover and more. Kashmir Willow includes bats such as Nexus Plus, RSD Spark, RSD Plus, VS 319 Spark, Phoenix Xtreme etc.
The blade of these bats is made of best quality willow while the handle is made of premium quality of sarawak cane which enhances control and power. SG bats have curved blade and thick edges which provide proper balance. These bats are of traditional shape with maximum stability. A special feature of these bats is its toe protector which helps in better durability and maintains the moisture level.
West Indies senior cricketer, Marlon Samuels, prefers to use these bats. He has been the man of the match for his side in both the World T20 finals where he played match winning innings. Samuels has been in the international arena now for over 16 years. His experience undoubtedly helps the Caribbean side which is currently going through a rebuilding phase in longer formats of cricket.
A lot of former and current Indian players have been using SG bats. Sunil Gavaskar, Rahul Dravid, Suresh Raina, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virender Sehwag are few of them. SG bats are popular amongst domestic and international players both due to which it is the top brand today in the market.
These are some of the bat manufacturers in the world. There are also other brands like Gray Nicolls, Adidas, Puma, Reebok which produces best bats for cricketers. All these manufacturers need to be given some credit the way cricket is being played today. The quality of bats which they produce has given us some of the best cricket matches till date.