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Willow vs. Cedar vs. Pine cricket bat


Cricket Spectator
Hello all, I don't play cricket but I am acutely aware of the properties of wood. While discussing the merits of Willow for cricket bats with friends I argued that it doesn't make sense. It would make more sense to use hardwood.

So I made one using Oak. Sent it off with my friends for testing during their practice matches. The feedback while positive did note that the Oak bat sent more vibration to the handle and the signature Willow sound was absent.

So I made two more cricket bats. One out of Cedar and the other out of Pine. I handed it over for testing and the feedback was entirely positive. The feel, bounce and sound were all great.

But I wanted to broaden my horizon and scale of opinion and ask here if anyone has experience playing with hardwood or other cricket bats not made out of Willow and would shed some light on why Willow is the preferred choice. Thanks.

If you’re interested the video below documents the sound and bounce for each bat- Willow, Cedar and Pine. I will be delighted and grateful if you could share your thoughts.



U19 Vice-Captain
I'd be interested to try a bat made out of some other wood than willow. I assume the reasons for using willow are partly historical and partly that it's relatively lightweight and elastic. I can imagine cedar or redwood would be a good substitute, but I'd have thought oak would be too rigid and heavy.


International Coach
From a quick google.. they’re relatively fast growing, its soft and light but very durable.

“It is porous, with criss-crossing fibres that give it mechanical strength… [it] has pockets of air trapped inside the cells, which deform elastically when the cricket ball hits, giving it unique resilient properties.”

It is the impact resistance that sets is aside, there are other trees that are more dense but English cricket bat willow has a similar impact resistance to a tropical hardwood that has a density ten times greater.

Another law of note is law 6.7(a). This law stipulates that the hardness and surface texture of any bat shall not be so hard to “cause unacceptable damage to the ball.” Presumable this includes aluminium, but, I wonder, what else? If someone was to come out with a bat of another timber, would it be judged “too hard” to be used?


International Captain
Bamboo is the best for both baseball and cricket, but the colonizer white man's controlling the sports want to keep the means of production in their own countries, so have outlawed it's use in both sports.

/tinfoil conspiracy hat


International Captain
In all seriousness, have you tried the common (presumably all harder), baseball bat woods for making cricket bats? Ash, maple, and birch. Maple these days is the most popular, and hardest of the 3, whereas Ash seems to be described with properties the most similar to willow cricket bats, even to somewhat require a "knocking in" of the wood (birch is in between the two).