The sun’s out, the cricket’s on TV and now's the time to get out there and take your game up a gear - with the right bat for the job.
Here, reviews editor at All Out Cricket magazine Ed Kemp picks out 10 options for players looking to notch up the runs this season.
Howzat! 8 best cricket bats
Howzat! 8 best cricket bats
1/8 Woodstock Airstream Platinum
The one we’ve tested was an tightly-grained, two-toned masterpiece, with a face that screamed quality and the odd butterfly mark on the back that suggested it’s a crisp piece of wood – and that’s before you’ve touched on construction. There are huge edges, a gigantically chunky middle that stretches for miles down the blade, and a pick-up that makes your heart sing. Picking this up just makes you want to bat. £235, woodstockcricket.co.uk
2/8 Mongoose ReBEL Super Premium
Mongoose have made quite an impression since moving into more orthodox bat shapes after the invention of the long-handle Twenty20-specific bat back in the Noughties, and the quality of their Super Premium grade willow is impressive. This flagship, traditionally-proportioned blade is ticking all those boxes you’re lucky enough to expect these days: heaps and heaps of meat all the way down with an inexplicably airy pick-up that seems to break all the rules of the universe. £365, mongoosecricket.com
3/8 Newbery Kudos
With its minimalist turquoise livery and craftsmanship as fine as you’d expect from the boutique Sussex-based brand, Newbery’s Kudos is another impressively-made option for an ambitious club player. £225, newbery.co.uk
4/8 Spartan MC LE
With its square-shaped toe and pronounced low middle, this bat from Australian brand Spartan has an angular appearance. It’s a fine piece of wood with a careful finish and acres of meat over an impressively long span. Named after and used by Aussie captain Michael Clarke. £450, barringtonsports.com
5/8 Laver & Wood Signature
This New Zealander is bit of a throwback in style: thin in handle, very light in pick-up, it’s not only shorter but also slighter than most modern competitors, with a slightly higher middle. It’s also much harder-pressed, making it more likely to last. The steep price includes a host of additional bespoke services. £650, laverwood.co.nz
6/8 Salix Supernatural Players
A small, British-based brand that prides itself on quality craftsmanship – if you’re serious about scoring runs, you’ve got to look at Salix. Beautiful to look at, carefully hand-crafted and with an airy pick-up, this is a classy bat from an impressive stable. From £244.99, talentcricket.co.uk
7/8 Shark Great White 5 Fin
One of few top-quality bats coming in at £200 this season, here is a classy blade from a young, brash upstart of a company that specialises in big bats. £195, sharkcricket.com
8/8 M&H CK22
Stand well back. This bat from the Somerset-based specialists doesn’t look much, with its squared-off, wood-heavy toe and showy thick edges, and the livery is decadently art nouveau, but the effect on the ball is immense. Designed for and named after Somerset and England hitter Craig Kieswetter. £425, millichampandhall.co.uk
For a more serious cricketer who’s after something high-performing but with a modern flash, the Mongoose bat is an ideal option.
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