Best Cricket Bat 2024

A light wood cricket bat featuring a white handle and blue branding resting on a tree stump.
Credit: Gunn & Moore

A light wood cricket bat featuring a white handle and blue branding resting on a tree stump.
Credit: Gunn & Moore

Choosing the best cricket bat can be tricky at times, especially since their prices often vary widely despite appearing relatively identical at first glance. A cricket bat is typically distinguished by its quality of willow and the reputation of its manufacturer, rather than by its aesthetics. Fortunately, cricket bats are rated on their quality, which makes narrowing things down to a list of the best bats around that bit easier.

While a top-tier bat may not instantly transform you into the next Virat Kohli, it can certainly help you perform shots to the best of your ability due to an optimal sweet spot and powerful blade. Make sure you pair your bat with some of the best cricket shoes around though, in order to give you a stable base to help you hit boundaries for fun.

Whether you're looking for something built for power, like this Kookaburra Kahuna, or something a little more well-rounded, like this Gunn & Moore Diamond Signature, then we've got you covered alongside answers to some of the most commonly asked questions surrounding cricket bats. More on that after we run through our top picks...

Best cricket bats

  1. Gunn & Moore Diamond Signature - a great choice for every scenario
  2. Newberry N-Series - an excellent option for beginners
  3. Kookaburra Kahuna 2.1 - best choice for power
  4. Newbery Centurion Pro - a superb bat for control
  5. Gray-Nicolls Pro Performance - a high-end masterpiece
Gunn & Moore Diamond Signature product image of a light wood bat with black and blue GM logos.
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Credit: Gunn & Moore

1. Gunn & Moore Diamond Signature

Best cricket bat overall

Manufacturer: Gunn & Moore
Material: Grade 2 Unbleached Willow

Gunn & Moore, also known as GM, stands as one of the lead cricket equipment manufacturers on the market, with its Diamond Signature bat a great example of the brand's expertise.

Crafted with precision to complement the versatile playing style of England's cricket legend Ben Stokes, this bat is designed to accommodate batters of all skill levels.

Its traditional full-blade profile, a hallmark of GM's innovation, allows for better performance even on off-centre strikes, promising a broader sweet spot for improved hits.

Featuring a mid-centre swell as well, this bat seamlessly caters to both front and back-foot techniques, offering flexibility for players who prefer a dynamic range of shots across the field. It's a top choice for those who relish spreading shots throughout their innings.

Newberry N-Series product image of light wood bat with blue accents and a white handle.
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Credit: Newbery

2. Newberry N-Series

Best cricket bat for beginners

Manufacturer: Newbery
Material: Wood

Looking to dive into cricket without breaking the bank? The Newberry N-Series might be your ticket to start this thrilling journey affordably.

Crafted to help you nail those impactful shots, this bat boasts a full spine and subtle incurves, striking a fine balance between power and agility.

Although available in a single grade, you're spoiled for choice with an array of colours like vibrant red, bold blue, and lush green. Its lower sweet spot ensures consistent clean hits too, making it a great pick for newcomers mastering their batting skills.

In essence, this bat proudly reflects Newbery's top-notch craftsmanship, delivering stellar performance without denting your wallet.

Kookaburra Kahuna 2.1 product image of light wood bat with green accents and a white handle.
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Credit: Kookaburra

3. Kookaburra Kahuna 2.1

Best cricket bat for power

Manufacturer: Kookaburra
Material: Grade 2 Unbleached Willow

When it comes to delivering powerful shots, there's hardly a better bat for the job than the Kookaburra Kahuna. Originally crafted for Ricky Ponting, this bat has undergone some modifications based on the inputs of its new partner, the formidable hitter Jos Butler, who is renowned for his big hits in cricket.

With adjustments to its design, the Kookaburra Kahuna now boasts a slightly higher spine, larger edges, and reduced scalloping, resulting in a fuller profile that's perfect for aggressive slogging. It's evident that this bat is tailor-made for hard-hitting batsmen, as demonstrated by Jos Butler's impressive track record in T20 cricket.

On the whole, Kookaburra has created a top-notch piece of equipment that promises to enhance the performance of powerful batsmen and elevate their game to new heights.

Newbery Centurion Pro product image of a light wood bat with a white handle and branding engraved into the wood.
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Credit: Newbery

4. Newbery Centurion Pro

Best cricket bat for control

Manufacturer: Newbery
Material: Grade 1 Willow

While it is crucial to adopt an aggressive approach in T20, when playing cricket matches lasting more than 50 overs, a bat designed for control can prove to be more advantageous.

Take, for instance, the Newbery Centurion Pro. It incorporates Newbery's innovative Haft Tech Handle, meticulously crafted to enhance power while providing additional comfort, thereby enabling better control during longer innings.

The bat also boasts a generously sized middle sweet spot and features anti-twist properties. These characteristics empower you to impart more power to your shots while maintaining precise control over the ball's direction.

Overall, this Newbery bat is a remarkable piece of equipment that promises to deliver the utmost control at the crease.

Gray-Nicolls Pro Performance product image of a light wood bat with and red Gray-Nicolls logo and a black handle.
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Credit: Gray-Nicolls

5. Gray-Nicolls Pro Performance

Best premium cricket bat

Manufacturer: Gray-Nicolls
Material: Pro-level Grade 1 Willow

When discussing the best cricket bats, it would be remiss not to mention Gray-Nicolls, a renowned company that manufactures exceptional cricket equipment, including their remarkable Pro Performance bat.

The bat boasts a traditional shape that caters to both front and back-foot play. Its ingeniously designed mid-blade swell ensures a sustained sweet spot, resulting in cleaner hits on every ball.

To enhance your experience at the crease, the bat features a semi-oval handle that provides exceptional comfort during long innings. Moreover, this handle design enables maximum control over the bat, empowering more precise shots.

So, if you're an experienced cricketer aiming to elevate your game, we highly recommend considering this premium Gray-Nicolls bat. It's superior craftsmanship and advanced features make it a worthy investment in taking your skills to the next level.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

With a huge selection of bats available, you probably have a few questions about what makes each of them stand out. Don't worry though because we've answered some of the most common queries right here.

What does a cricket bat's grade mean?

Both English willow and Kashmir willow bats are graded to make it easier to understand the quality each bat has to offer.

Grade 1 is the best grade a bat can achieve and is, therefore, most prominent in the professional game.

That's not to say everything below a Grade 1 bat is bad though as a Grade 3 bat, for instance, will likely only come with a few minor blemishes and less grain that shouldn't make a noticeable difference at an amateur level.

How much should you spend on a cricket bat?

There's no right or wrong answer to this question as cricket bats vary massively in price to cater to all budgets and experience levels depending on various factors such as the brand, quality of materials, size, and features.

For casual or recreational players, a budget-friendly cricket bat under £100 may be optimal. These bats are typically made of Kashmir willow or lower-grade English willow and offer decent performance for occasional use.

For more serious players or those looking for higher-quality bats, the price range can extend way beyong £100. Bats in this range are often made of higher-grade English willow or other premium materials, providing better performance, durability, and balance. They may also feature advanced technologies or specific profiles tailored to different playing styles.

Professional-level cricket bats can be even more expensive as they are often meticulously crafted with top-grade English willow, offering exceptional performance, responsiveness, and a superior feel.

So, when deciding how much to spend on a cricket bat, it's important to consider factors such as your skill level, frequency of play, and personal preferences. It's recommended to try out different bats and consult with experienced players or coaches to find the right bat that suits your style of play and budget.

What size cricket bat should you get?

Cricket bat sizes are relatively straightforward to follow. Sizes 0 through 6 are primarily designed for juniors, with a size 6 bat said to be suitable for someone between 5ft 3-5".

Adult sizes then range from Harrow (5ft 5-7"), Small Mens (5ft 7-9"), Short Handle (5ft 9" - 6ft), and Long Handle (6ft+). These are usually suitable for players aged 16 or over.

Do you need to break in a cricket bat before playing?

The short answer is yes, it is essential to break in a cricket bat before first use. However, in cricket, this is known as "knocking-in".

This is to ensure the fibres in the wood are compressed together to form a solid barrier in which to protect the bat against the impact from the ball.

To do this, you'll first need a mallet, like this Gunn & Moore bit of kit. use the mallet to gently hit the face of the bat, before working up over time to slightly harder hits. You'll know you're done when the mallet is no longer leaving marks on the face of your bat.

Once the face is complete, move on to knocking in the edges. The best way to do this is through glancing blows rather than direct impact. Gray-Nicolls recommend hitting at a 45-degree angle.

After this, your bat should be knocked in. Make sure to never hit the back of your bat or the splice (i.e. roughly where the sticker is) though as this can cause permanent damage.

How heavy is a cricket bat?

While there are rules on how big a cricket bat can be, there aren't necessarily the same restrictions on how much it can weigh.

According to Talent Cricket though, a light bat typically weighs between 2lb 6oz and 2lb 9oz, a medium bat between 2lb 9oz to 2lb 11oz, and a heavy bat between 2lb 11oz and 3lb.

You might notice a very slight increase in power from a heavier bat, but only if you're strong enough to be in complete control of its movement.

How long does a cricket bat last?

There's not really one definitive answer to this question because how long your cricket bat lasts depends on a myriad of factors.

For instance, how often you use your bat will affect how long it lasts. Training multiple times a week will no doubt cause more damage to your bat than only playing a T20 game once a week. Professional cricketers typically carry in excess of five bats and replace at least five or six of them a season.

The lifespan of your bat will also vary depending on the type of cricket balls you face. Low-quality hard cricket balls bowled fast will likely reduce your bat's lifespan compared to if you only face Incrediballs for example.

You'll also want to make sure you store and treat your bat carefully to extend its life. Continued exposure to heat or water damage can lead to your bat breaking prematurely. As a very rough estimate though, Blackcat Cricket believes a bat lasts about 1000 runs.

How do you maintain a cricket bat?

To get the longest lifespan possible from your bat, it's important to regularly maintain it.

As touched on, the first step to maintaining a bat is to knock it in. Once that's covered, you must treat the face of your bat, providing it's uncovered wood, using raw linseed or a specialist cricket bat oil.

Kookaburra recommends just a light coat of oil applied to the face, edge, toe, and back of the blade, making sure to avoid the stickers or logos and the splice area. Allow the bat to dry then, after 24 hours, remove any oil that hasn't been absorbed.

Make sure you treat your bat regularly in order to keep the wood in good condition. If your bat face is covered in a thin layer of plastic though, then you shouldn't need to oil it.

What happens if a cricket bat gets wet?

If a cricket bat gets wet, it can affect its performance and durability. For example, a wet cricket bat can become heavy and difficult to manoeuvre, which can impact the player's timing and control while batting. Wet bats may also not make good contact with the ball, reducing the power and accuracy of the shot.

Exposure to moisture can cause the cricket bat to warp. This can affect the balance, weight distribution, and evenness of the face of the bat, further impacting the player's performance.

The wood is also likely to become damaged when exposed to water for a prolonged period, perhaps causing it to rot. This can weaken the bat and lead to its premature retirement.

To avoid these problems, it's best to keep the cricket bat dry, especially during play. If the bat gets wet, it's important to dry it off as soon as possible using a soft towel and storing it in a dry place. It's also a good idea to oil the bat regularly to keep it in good condition.

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