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Archive for December, 2008

Player Profile(#42)…Makhaya Ntini (South Africa)

Posted by wildkiwi25 on December 26, 2008

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Makhaya Ntini (born 6 July 1977 in Eastern Cape Province) is a South African cricketer who was the first ethnically black player to play for the South African team. A fast bowler, he tends to bowl from wide of the crease with brisk, although not express, pace. He has survived legal controversy early on in his career to become only the third South African to take 300 Test wickets after Shaun Pollock and Allan Donald, and to reach second place in the ICC test match bowling ratings. He plays domestic cricket for the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League.

Background:
Ntini came from humble beginnings where he tended cattle in his home village of Mdingi in the Eastern Cape. It was there that his talent was discovered and he was sent to Dale College in King William’s Town where he would develop his game. His action was intentionally modelled on West Indian great Malcolm Marshall.[citation needed] After a brief spell with Border his break came courtesy of an injury to Roger Telemachus and Ntini was included in the South African squad to tour Australia late in 1997. His international début came on January 16th at Perth against New Zealand where he took 2/30 off his full quota of 10 overs. A couple of months later, on March 19th, he made history by becoming the first black South African Test cricketer (though not the first non-White cricketer, as bi-racial Charles Llewellyn made his Test début in 1896). The Test match was at home in Cape Town against Sri Lanka and his maiden wicket was Aravinda De Silva who would be one of his 2 wickets in the game.

Controversy:
His career looked like coming to an end in 1999 when Ntini was charged and then convicted of rape. The case caused widespread controversy in South Africa with his conviction generating negative publicty in view of his status as the first black South African Test cricketer. Ntini maintained his innocence and was acquitted on appeal and looked to rebuild his international cricket career.

International career:
Ntini returned to the South African side for a Sharjah tournament in 2000. His improvement was clear as he bowled with greater control. In 2003 he became the first South African to take 10 wickets at Lord’s Cricket Ground. Arguably his best performance, however, came on 12 April 2005, when Ntini took 13 wickets for 132 runs against the West Indies at Port of Spain. This remains the best bowling performance by a South African cricketer in a Test match. On 3 March 2006, Ntini also achieved the best bowling figures by a South African in an ODI, demolishing Australia with 6 wickets for 22 runs. Ntini is a popular figure in South African sport and he was voted their favourite sportsman in a research poll conducted by the South Africa Press Association.

From recent performances, Ntini has established himself as South Africa’s premier fast bowler and one of the leading fast bowlers in the world. As of December 2007 he is ranked as the world’s third-best Test bowler behind Muttiah Muralitharan and Stuart Clark, and ninth-best ODI bowler, according to the ICC rankings.

On 20 January 2007 Ntini dislodged Mohammed Sami to take his 300th test wicket, in his 74th test. On 1 August 2008 he removed England opener Alistair Cook to claim his 350th test wicket in his 90th test.

Links to more information on Makhaya Ntini:

  • Cricinfo.com Profile on Makhaya Ntini
  • Southafrica.info Page on Makhaya Ntini
  • Makhaya Ntini Bio Page
  • Makhaya Ntini: Stats, Pics, Articles, Interviews and Milestones on Cricketfundas.com

    Photobucket

    *Acknowledgements to Wikipedia.org and owners of pictures and videos used.

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  • Posted in Chennai Super Kings, Dale College, Eastern Cape, Eastern Cape Province, Indian Premier League, Makhaya Ntini, South Africa | Leave a Comment »

    Cricket Batting Tips – Foot Work

    Posted by wildkiwi25 on December 25, 2008

    Recently I was asked, “is ‘foot work’ really that important?”

    When batting in cricket it is essential to have excellent footwork. As good foot work is the basis for achieving excellence in cricket and is the foundation for good batting technique.

    Foot work is absolutely necessary as all successful strokes start with effective footwork.

    If you watch Brian Lara, Michael Vaughn, Ricky Ponting, Sachin Tendulkar, all of these amazing batsmen have outstanding footwork, often when these types of players don’t perform it is simply due to lack of footwork.

    Good footwork allows you to time the ball well and place the ball in gaps. It gets you in the optimum position to hit the ball, so you can hit it where you want and with ease.

    If you have been struggling to play a particular shot for some reason it could be due to poor footwork causing bad timing and body positioning.

    With faster bowlers it is even more essential to have excellent fast and precise footwork, so that you can get into a balanced position, in-line with the ball, so you can play the ball with control.

    Getting quickly into position through footwork therefore is very important.

    The more you practice your footwork against both fast and slow bowlers the easier you will gradually find it. Many players do what we call trigger movements just before the bowler releases the ball, this helps get the feet moving into position and into line much quicker and easier, especially against faster bowlers.

    Next time you watch a game on TV watch the batsmen’s feet really closely as the bowler is about to deliver you’ll see these small ‘trigger movements’; small foot movements, which help the batsmen get in position and inline early.

    As a batsman it is absolutely necessary to develop your foot work and foot movement, as all excellent strokes start with effective and efficient footwork.

    To find out more tips on improving your footwork and stroke play feel free to visit www.cricketsecrets.com and start your run scoring spree!

    *Acknowledgements to Ian Canaway.

    Posted in correct batting technique, effective footwork, foot work, good batting technique, how to play cricket, timing, trigger movements | Leave a Comment »

    In the International Spotlight…Uganda Cricket

    Posted by wildkiwi25 on December 25, 2008

    Photobucket

    The Uganda national cricket team is the team that represents the country of Uganda in international cricket matches. Having previously been part of the combined East African and East and Central African teams, they became an associate member of the International Cricket Council in their own right in 1998. They began to play international cricket in 1951/52 when they first took part in a triangular tournament against regional rivals Kenya and Tanzania (then Tanganyika).

    They have competed in the ICC Trophy on two occasions, in 2001 and 2005. They won Division Three of the World Cricket League in Darwin, Australia in 2007, qualifying them for Division Two of the same tournament towards the end of 2007, which also qualified them for a spot on the ICC’s High Performance Program.

    History:

    East Africa team:

    Uganda combined with their regional rivals Kenya and Tanzania to form the East Africa team. The first known match for this team was against a South African “Non-Europeans” team captained by Basil D’Oliveira in September 1958 in Nairobi, with the visitors winning by seven wickets. East Africa became an associate member of the ICC in 1966 and India toured the following year, winning a match against Uganda by 6 wickets before a first-class match against East Africa in Kampala which India won by 8 wickets.

    East Africa toured England in 1972 and the Marylebone Cricket Club played a first-class match against East Africa in January 1974, winning by 237 runs. The following year, East Africa played in the 1975 Cricket World Cup in England. After various warm-up games, including a 3 wicket win against Glamorgan, they played New Zealand, India and England in the World Cup itself, losing all three matches. The World Cup was followed by a first-class match against Sri Lanka at the County Cricket Ground, Taunton, which the Sri Lankans won by 115 runs. East Africa played in the ICC Trophies of 1979, 1982 and 1986, without qualifying for the World Cup from any of them.

    Uganda continued playing their regular matches against Kenya and Tanzania, despite Kenya leaving the East Africa combination in and the triangular tournament became a quadrangular tournament in 1966 when Zambia joined in. From then until the tournament’s end in 1980, Uganda won the tournament just once.

    East and Central Africa cricket team:
    The East Africa team left the ICC in 1989 and was replaced by the East and Central Africa team the same year. This new team was a combination of Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia, and they took part in the ICC Trophy for the first time in 1990, also taking part in 1994, 1997 and 2001.

    Setting out on their own:
    Uganda left the East and Central Africa combination and became an associate member of the ICC in their own right in 1998. Their first international tournament was the 2001 ICC Trophy. After winning all five of their first round games, they lost a play-off match against the UAE for the right to enter the second stage of the tournament. The following year, they finished third in their group in the Africa Cup.

    In 2004, Uganda played their first first-class matches in the ICC Intercontinental Cup against Kenya and Namibia, winning against Namibia. In August that year, they finished second to Namibia in the Africa Cricket Association Championships in Zambia. This qualified them for the following years ICC Trophy, in which they finished in twelfth and last place after losing to Papua New Guinea in their final play-off match. Earlier in the year, they again played against Namibia and Kenya in the 2005 ICC Intercontinental Cup, losing both games.

    Present Day:
    In January 2007, Uganda faced Bermuda and Canada as those two teams prepared for Division One of the World Cricket League in Nairobi. This also served as preparation for Uganda’s visit to Darwin, Australia, for Division Three of the same tournament. They won their games against the Cayman Islands, Hong Kong and Tanzania before beating Papua New Guinea in the semi-final. They then beat Argentina in the final of the tournament.

    Uganda’s performance in the Division Three tournament means that they have gained a spot in the ICC’s High Performance Program, and will now travel to Windhoek, Namibia towards the end of 2007 where they will face Argentina, Denmark, Oman and the UAE in addition to hosts Namibia. A top four finish in this tournament will qualify them for the 2009 ICC World Cup Qualifier, whilst a bottom two finish will mean that they play in Division Three again in 2009.

    Uganda took part in a four-team Twenty20 tournament prior to the 2007 Twenty20 World Cup, playing games against Pakistan, Kenya, and Bangladesh in Nairobi. As expected, they lost against Pakistan and Bangladesh, losing but they stunned African rivals Kenya with a two-wicket win.

    Their next matches were two one-day games against Bermuda, also in Nairobi, in October 2007. They surprised their more experienced rivals, going down by just seven runs after Nandikishore Patel and Danniel Ruyange scored half-centuries, before winning the second match by 43 runs with Joel Olwenyi scoring a half-century of his own.

    Links to more information on Uganda Cricket:

  • Uganda Cricket @ Cricketarchive.com
  • Uganda Cricket Timeline
  • Uganda Cricket @ Cricinfo.com

    Photobucket

    *Acknowledgements to Wikipedia.org and owners of pictures and videos used.

  • Posted in cricket in uganda, East Africa, ICC High Performance Program, ICC Trophy, ICC World Cricket League, Marybelone Cricket Club, Uganda Cricket | Leave a Comment »

    Cricket Batting Tips: The Sweep Shot And Reverse Sweep

    Posted by wildkiwi25 on December 25, 2008

    The sweep and the reverse sweep are two batting shots which are not commonly used, especially the reverse sweep which is rarely used. However both shots can be used in certain batting situations and are an effective way to score runs and keep the score board ticking over.

    There is a high element of risk with the sweep shot, so good judgement and excellent timing is essential. Avoid playing the sweep and reverse sweep early on in your innings especially to straight deliveries, as it is not a good idea to play it until you have your eye in and know how the pitch is playing and what the bowler is doing. As for example, if the ball stayed low it would be quite easy to misjudge and get out LBW or bowled which you definitely want to avoid, so be patient and play yourself in first.

    The sweep and reverse sweep are both cross batted shots and should ideally be played to slow deliveries which are of a good length and not too full. To play the orthodox sweep shot, first wait for the ball to be released before making any movement – DON’T PREMEDITATE THE SHOT!

    Once you have determined that the ball is there to play the sweep shot to, move your front foot as far down the wicket towards the pitch of the ball as you can. As you are moving forward bend both knees simultaneously so that you whole body is low down, let your back knee touch the ground to act as an extra base of support. Try to stay balanced and relaxed. Bring the bat down from the off side and across the ball towards the leg side and aim to hit it either in front of or behind square leg. You can roll your wrists over the ball as you hit to help keep it on the ground. Aim to have your arms fully extended when you contact the ball.

    To play the reverse sweep, get in to the same position as for the orthodox sweep, however this time, bring you bat down and across from leg side towards the off side, so you are aiming to hit the ball through the gully area. This shot requires very good coordination and timing as you have to twist the bat round so that the bat face faces the off side at the point of contact without altering your grip.

    Common problems:

    -Premeditating the shot- deciding to play the shot before the bowler has bowled the ball. Wait until the ball is released from the bowlers hand before deciding to play the shot.

    -Playing the sweep too early in the innings before getting your eye in. Wait until you are set and know how the pitch is playing and what the bowler is doing before attempting the shot.

    -Trying to hit the ball too hard. Good timing and technique is better and more effective as you need to reduce the risk as much as possible.

    -Playing the shot to deliveries which are either too full or too short, so good judgement of length is required.

    Remember that the sweep and reverse sweep are quite hard shots to master and carry quite a lot of risk, so make sure that if you intend to use them, practice the shots in the nets and in training to get a feel for the shot and so you know when to play it; so that when you come to use them you are confident and skilled enough to do so.

    To find out more on how to improve the sweep and reverse sweep shots, and many more cricket shots, head over to www.cricketsecrets.com today!

    *Acknowledgements to Ian Canaway.

    Posted in balance, bowled, cricket shots, footwork, how to play cricket, LBW, premeditated shot, reverse sweep shot, sweep shot, timing | Leave a Comment »

    A very merry cricket christmas to all!

    Posted by wildkiwi25 on December 25, 2008

    Hi everyone,

    Just would like to wish all my readers a very merry cricket christmas and a happy cricket new year :). Make sure you take yourself and your family and friends to the park or even your back yard and have some fun playing a good game of backyard cricket, while enjoying each others company :). Feel free to add your comment about any backyard cricket games you have played on christmas day…

    Photobucket

    Posted in Backyard Cricket, christmas, cricket christmas, merry christmas, seasons greetings, xmas | Leave a Comment »

    In the International Spotlight…Uganda Cricket

    Posted by wildkiwi25 on December 25, 2008

    Photobucket

    The Uganda national cricket team is the team that represents the country of Uganda in international cricket matches. Having previously been part of the combined East African and East and Central African teams, they became an associate member of the International Cricket Council in their own right in 1998. They began to play international cricket in 1951/52 when they first took part in a triangular tournament against regional rivals Kenya and Tanzania (then Tanganyika).

    They have competed in the ICC Trophy on two occasions, in 2001 and 2005. They won Division Three of the World Cricket League in Darwin, Australia in 2007, qualifying them for Division Two of the same tournament towards the end of 2007, which also qualified them for a spot on the ICC’s High Performance Program.

    History:

    East Africa team:

    Uganda combined with their regional rivals Kenya and Tanzania to form the East Africa team. The first known match for this team was against a South African “Non-Europeans” team captained by Basil D’Oliveira in September 1958 in Nairobi, with the visitors winning by seven wickets. East Africa became an associate member of the ICC in 1966 and India toured the following year, winning a match against Uganda by 6 wickets before a first-class match against East Africa in Kampala which India won by 8 wickets.

    East Africa toured England in 1972 and the Marylebone Cricket Club played a first-class match against East Africa in January 1974, winning by 237 runs. The following year, East Africa played in the 1975 Cricket World Cup in England. After various warm-up games, including a 3 wicket win against Glamorgan, they played New Zealand, India and England in the World Cup itself, losing all three matches. The World Cup was followed by a first-class match against Sri Lanka at the County Cricket Ground, Taunton, which the Sri Lankans won by 115 runs. East Africa played in the ICC Trophies of 1979, 1982 and 1986, without qualifying for the World Cup from any of them.

    Uganda continued playing their regular matches against Kenya and Tanzania, despite Kenya leaving the East Africa combination in and the triangular tournament became a quadrangular tournament in 1966 when Zambia joined in. From then until the tournament’s end in 1980, Uganda won the tournament just once.

    East and Central Africa cricket team:
    The East Africa team left the ICC in 1989 and was replaced by the East and Central Africa team the same year. This new team was a combination of Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia, and they took part in the ICC Trophy for the first time in 1990, also taking part in 1994, 1997 and 2001.

    Setting out on their own:
    Uganda left the East and Central Africa combination and became an associate member of the ICC in their own right in 1998. Their first international tournament was the 2001 ICC Trophy. After winning all five of their first round games, they lost a play-off match against the UAE for the right to enter the second stage of the tournament. The following year, they finished third in their group in the Africa Cup.

    In 2004, Uganda played their first first-class matches in the ICC Intercontinental Cup against Kenya and Namibia, winning against Namibia. In August that year, they finished second to Namibia in the Africa Cricket Association Championships in Zambia. This qualified them for the following years ICC Trophy, in which they finished in twelfth and last place after losing to Papua New Guinea in their final play-off match. Earlier in the year, they again played against Namibia and Kenya in the 2005 ICC Intercontinental Cup, losing both games.

    Present Day:
    In January 2007, Uganda faced Bermuda and Canada as those two teams prepared for Division One of the World Cricket League in Nairobi. This also served as preparation for Uganda’s visit to Darwin, Australia, for Division Three of the same tournament. They won their games against the Cayman Islands, Hong Kong and Tanzania before beating Papua New Guinea in the semi-final. They then beat Argentina in the final of the tournament.

    Uganda’s performance in the Division Three tournament means that they have gained a spot in the ICC’s High Performance Program, and will now travel to Windhoek, Namibia towards the end of 2007 where they will face Argentina, Denmark, Oman and the UAE in addition to hosts Namibia. A top four finish in this tournament will qualify them for the 2009 ICC World Cup Qualifier, whilst a bottom two finish will mean that they play in Division Three again in 2009.

    Uganda took part in a four-team Twenty20 tournament prior to the 2007 Twenty20 World Cup, playing games against Pakistan, Kenya, and Bangladesh in Nairobi. As expected, they lost against Pakistan and Bangladesh, losing but they stunned African rivals Kenya with a two-wicket win.

    Their next matches were two one-day games against Bermuda, also in Nairobi, in October 2007. They surprised their more experienced rivals, going down by just seven runs after Nandikishore Patel and Danniel Ruyange scored half-centuries, before winning the second match by 43 runs with Joel Olwenyi scoring a half-century of his own.

    Links to more information on Uganda Cricket:

  • Uganda Cricket @ Cricketarchive.com
  • Uganda Cricket Timeline
  • Uganda Cricket @ Cricinfo.com

    Photobucket

    *Acknowledgements to Wikipedia.org and owners of pictures and videos used.

  • Posted in cricket in uganda, East Africa, ICC High Performance Program, ICC Trophy, ICC World Cricket League, Marybelone Cricket Club, Uganda Cricket | Leave a Comment »

    Cricket Batting Tips: The Sweep Shot And Reverse Sweep

    Posted by wildkiwi25 on December 25, 2008

    The sweep and the reverse sweep are two batting shots which are not commonly used, especially the reverse sweep which is rarely used. However both shots can be used in certain batting situations and are an effective way to score runs and keep the score board ticking over.

    There is a high element of risk with the sweep shot, so good judgement and excellent timing is essential. Avoid playing the sweep and reverse sweep early on in your innings especially to straight deliveries, as it is not a good idea to play it until you have your eye in and know how the pitch is playing and what the bowler is doing. As for example, if the ball stayed low it would be quite easy to misjudge and get out LBW or bowled which you definitely want to avoid, so be patient and play yourself in first.

    The sweep and reverse sweep are both cross batted shots and should ideally be played to slow deliveries which are of a good length and not too full. To play the orthodox sweep shot, first wait for the ball to be released before making any movement – DON’T PREMEDITATE THE SHOT!

    Once you have determined that the ball is there to play the sweep shot to, move your front foot as far down the wicket towards the pitch of the ball as you can. As you are moving forward bend both knees simultaneously so that you whole body is low down, let your back knee touch the ground to act as an extra base of support. Try to stay balanced and relaxed. Bring the bat down from the off side and across the ball towards the leg side and aim to hit it either in front of or behind square leg. You can roll your wrists over the ball as you hit to help keep it on the ground. Aim to have your arms fully extended when you contact the ball.

    To play the reverse sweep, get in to the same position as for the orthodox sweep, however this time, bring you bat down and across from leg side towards the off side, so you are aiming to hit the ball through the gully area. This shot requires very good coordination and timing as you have to twist the bat round so that the bat face faces the off side at the point of contact without altering your grip.

    Common problems:

    -Premeditating the shot- deciding to play the shot before the bowler has bowled the ball. Wait until the ball is released from the bowlers hand before deciding to play the shot.

    -Playing the sweep too early in the innings before getting your eye in. Wait until you are set and know how the pitch is playing and what the bowler is doing before attempting the shot.

    -Trying to hit the ball too hard. Good timing and technique is better and more effective as you need to reduce the risk as much as possible.

    -Playing the shot to deliveries which are either too full or too short, so good judgement of length is required.

    Remember that the sweep and reverse sweep are quite hard shots to master and carry quite a lot of risk, so make sure that if you intend to use them, practice the shots in the nets and in training to get a feel for the shot and so you know when to play it; so that when you come to use them you are confident and skilled enough to do so.

    To find out more on how to improve the sweep and reverse sweep shots, and many more cricket shots, head over to www.cricketsecrets.com today!

    *Acknowledgements to Ian Canaway.

    Posted in balance, bowled, cricket shots, footwork, how to play cricket, LBW, premeditated shot, reverse sweep shot, sweep shot, timing | Leave a Comment »

    A very merry cricket christmas to all!

    Posted by wildkiwi25 on December 24, 2008

    Hi everyone,

    Just would like to wish all my readers a very merry cricket christmas and a happy cricket new year :). Make sure you take yourself and your family and friends to the park or even your back yard and have some fun playing a good game of backyard cricket, while enjoying each others company :). Feel free to add your comment about any backyard cricket games you have played on christmas day…

    Photobucket

    Posted in Backyard Cricket, christmas, cricket christmas, merry christmas, seasons greetings, xmas | Leave a Comment »

    Tips for Buying a New Cricket Bat

    Posted by wildkiwi25 on December 24, 2008

    When it comes to buying a new cricket bat there are a number of factors that you need to address before making your final decision to purchase a new cricket bat, such as:

    – The brand,

    – The size,

    – The model,

    – The weight,

    …these are just a few factors to consider.

    This article will look briefly at a few tips to follow when it comes to replacing your old favourite bat with a new cricket bat.

    Choosing a cricket bat based on its brand really comes down to personally preference, as realistically there is not much major difference between brands. They all have cricket bats with similar attributes and features; it is the variation between models that I would pay closer attention too, not the brand name. However it is worth mentioning that some of the new Kookaburra cricket bat models are almost unique, as some are now reinforced with a new graphite matrix, giving “maximum power transfer and increased strength”.

    When buying a new cricket bat, carefully select the model of cricket bat that most suitably fits your style of play. As some bats are designed specifically certain styles in mind, for example the Kookaburra Big Kahuna, is designed for strong, ‘big hitters’. Whereas the Kookaburra Kahuna Ricky Ponting cricket bat is an excellent choice for a stroke player who likes to hit boundaries.

    It is very important when buying a new cricket bat to choose the correct size bat. As a bat that is too large or too small will only hinder your playing ability. I’ve found the best way to determine if a bat is of the right size, is to stand in your batting stance and rest the toe of the bat against the outside of your back foot, lean the cricket bat so that the top of the handle rests next to the inside groin of your front leg. If the bat is of the right size it should rest comfortably next to your box on the inside groin of your front leg.

    The weight of a cricket bat is probably most important and you should choose a lighter bat where possible. A lot of players make the mistake of buying a bat which is too heavy and their performance suffers as a result, this is especially applicable to younger players who are often lulled into buying bats which are either to heavy or too big. As an adult I tend to choose a weight of around 2’ 8 – 2’ 10 oz, in a short handle (SH).

    You should also take into account to grade and type of the willow of the cricket bat. Most bats are made from English Willow, which is a soft fibrous wood, with good striking qualities and is the best option. There is also Kashmir Willow, which is cheaper, harder and quite durable. It is often used in junior bats and produces less ball striking satisfaction. Always choose English Willow when given the option.

    Cricket bat willow is graded on a scale from G1+ to G4. A willow grade of G1+ is the highest grade and is used by the top professionals, it is the best willow and is unbleached with straight even grains and no markings or discolouration. It’s more expensive but as always you get what you pay for!

    Grade 4 (G4) willow is often non-oil and will usually have a covering on the face, such as an anti-scuff covering. It is the lowest grade of willow, which is represented in the price. If you have the money always opt for the highest grade willow you can afford.

    You can now buy cricket bats online cheaper than you can offline, as online stores tend to have fewer costs associated with their businesses and so can offer cheaper prices and discounts. Also most offer guarantees on their bats so you can return it if the size or weight is not quite what you want. A sneaky tip; if you see a new bat you like go to your local store, check the size, weight, feel and pickup, then buy online, so you’ll get exactly what you want and save money in the process.

    These are just a few ideas and tips I consider when buying a new cricket bat, most important are the bats size, weight and feel. Obviously the price is an important factor, but by buying online you can often save money.

    Discover amazing cricket tips and tricks at www.cricketsecrets.com that you can use today to greatly improve your cricket results!

    *Acknowledgements to Ian Canaway.

    Posted in Batting, buying a cricket bat, Cricket, cricket bat, english willow, kashmir willow, knocking in a bat, kookaburra | Leave a Comment »

    Tips for Buying a New Cricket Bat

    Posted by wildkiwi25 on December 24, 2008

    When it comes to buying a new cricket bat there are a number of factors that you need to address before making your final decision to purchase a new cricket bat, such as:

    – The brand,

    – The size,

    – The model,

    – The weight,

    …these are just a few factors to consider.

    This article will look briefly at a few tips to follow when it comes to replacing your old favourite bat with a new cricket bat.

    Choosing a cricket bat based on its brand really comes down to personally preference, as realistically there is not much major difference between brands. They all have cricket bats with similar attributes and features; it is the variation between models that I would pay closer attention too, not the brand name. However it is worth mentioning that some of the new Kookaburra cricket bat models are almost unique, as some are now reinforced with a new graphite matrix, giving “maximum power transfer and increased strength”.

    When buying a new cricket bat, carefully select the model of cricket bat that most suitably fits your style of play. As some bats are designed specifically certain styles in mind, for example the Kookaburra Big Kahuna, is designed for strong, ‘big hitters’. Whereas the Kookaburra Kahuna Ricky Ponting cricket bat is an excellent choice for a stroke player who likes to hit boundaries.

    It is very important when buying a new cricket bat to choose the correct size bat. As a bat that is too large or too small will only hinder your playing ability. I’ve found the best way to determine if a bat is of the right size, is to stand in your batting stance and rest the toe of the bat against the outside of your back foot, lean the cricket bat so that the top of the handle rests next to the inside groin of your front leg. If the bat is of the right size it should rest comfortably next to your box on the inside groin of your front leg.

    The weight of a cricket bat is probably most important and you should choose a lighter bat where possible. A lot of players make the mistake of buying a bat which is too heavy and their performance suffers as a result, this is especially applicable to younger players who are often lulled into buying bats which are either to heavy or too big. As an adult I tend to choose a weight of around 2’ 8 – 2’ 10 oz, in a short handle (SH).

    You should also take into account to grade and type of the willow of the cricket bat. Most bats are made from English Willow, which is a soft fibrous wood, with good striking qualities and is the best option. There is also Kashmir Willow, which is cheaper, harder and quite durable. It is often used in junior bats and produces less ball striking satisfaction. Always choose English Willow when given the option.

    Cricket bat willow is graded on a scale from G1+ to G4. A willow grade of G1+ is the highest grade and is used by the top professionals, it is the best willow and is unbleached with straight even grains and no markings or discolouration. It’s more expensive but as always you get what you pay for!

    Grade 4 (G4) willow is often non-oil and will usually have a covering on the face, such as an anti-scuff covering. It is the lowest grade of willow, which is represented in the price. If you have the money always opt for the highest grade willow you can afford.

    You can now buy cricket bats online cheaper than you can offline, as online stores tend to have fewer costs associated with their businesses and so can offer cheaper prices and discounts. Also most offer guarantees on their bats so you can return it if the size or weight is not quite what you want. A sneaky tip; if you see a new bat you like go to your local store, check the size, weight, feel and pickup, then buy online, so you’ll get exactly what you want and save money in the process.

    These are just a few ideas and tips I consider when buying a new cricket bat, most important are the bats size, weight and feel. Obviously the price is an important factor, but by buying online you can often save money.

    Discover amazing cricket tips and tricks at www.cricketsecrets.com that you can use today to greatly improve your cricket results!

    *Acknowledgements to Ian Canaway.

    Posted in Batting, buying a cricket bat, Cricket, cricket bat, english willow, kashmir willow, knocking in a bat, kookaburra | Leave a Comment »