Laver & Wood’s Cricket Bat Lore Ch 1 Salix alba var. Caerulea
The Laws of Cricket state that the cricket bat blade has to be made of wood. The stipulation that the blade should be made of wood came about when the Australian player Dennis Lillee used an Aluminium bat in a test match against England in Australia in 1979. After only a few deliveries Mike Brearley complained that the bat was damaging the ball and the umpires instructed Lillee to replace it. Lillee declared that it was “the thing of the future”, however the cricketing world agreed that it “just wasn’t cricket” and soon after, the M.C.C. amended law 6.
Within the laws of cricket there is no restriction on the type of wood that should be used. Many timbers have been experimented with, but Salix alba var. Caerulea has been found the most suitable. Salix alba has the common name of White Willow, with the specific var. Caerulea commonly known as Cricket Bat Willow.
Cricket Bat Willow grows well throughout the world, but for cricket bat making purposes, the British climatic conditions are best. The British climate is perfect for growing cricket bat willow, not too hot in the summer, not too cold in the winter, with an ideal rainfall, combined with favourable soil types.
More Laver & Wood Cricket Bat Lore chapter introductions can be found below.
10. Handle Breakage
23. Knocking In
24. Oiling Bats
25. Moisture Damage