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  1. 12 bats french

    The 12 Bats of Christmas - Charlie French Firebird

    Nottingham, home of some great cricket bat makers such as Gunn & Moore, B3 Cricket, and next in our 12 bats of Christmas feature is bat maker Charlie French.

    With over 20 years in the business and part of a fine cricketing family (his brother is ECB coach & former England keeper, Bruce French) Charlie knows about making bats & handcrafts his range of stunning bats from the finest English willow.

    You can visit Charlie’s Mansfield Woodhouse workshop and book a 3 hour custom bat making experience to have your bat handcrafted in front of your eyes. you’ll also get a load of CF goodies including a bat mallet, personalised bat cover, oil and scuff sheets.

    Our chosen blade is the Charlie French Firebird, named after the famous Gibson guitar played by one of Charlie’s favourite musicians. A traditional profile is kept through the back with a lack of concaving but Charlie manages to keep the balance of the bat by carefully tapering the toe to keep its pick-up nice and light.

    Not only will the bat be pressed to perfection but it will be checked for moisture content and mallet tested throughout the bat making process. You also have the option to add something not many other makers can give you. A custom made handle. To top it off the Firebird is finished with eye catching orange stickers to make this hand crafted beauty really stand out.

  2. 12 bats blankbats


    The 12 Bats of Christmas - Blankbats B2


    In an era of embossed decals, edge branding & multi coloured stickers there’s a UK company out there who’s taken a different view on how they show their bats. That company’s look and philosophy is summed up by their simple no-nonsense name. Blankbats.

    We’ve picked the Blankbats B2 which typifies the modern bat with its chunky edges and a big spine to keep lots of wood in the hitting area. The sweet spot is lower down to benefit those who prefer driving on the front foot and is perfect for people who play on slow, low wickets. To keep the balance in this monster bat the weight is taken out of the back of the blade by a gently concave sanded shape and reduced wood in the shoulders through to the oval handle.

    The balance on this bat is superb with the weight coming through nice and late to ensure you hit the ball long instead of just up in the air and with a choice of grade 1 or pro grade willow you’ll be ensured of straight and true grains and high performance willow.

    Where these guys come into their own is with the branding. Or lack of it. By only keeping the small v shaped stickers covering the splice on the front and back it lets the wood do the talking and as I have one of these in my kit bag I can vouch for the fact that I always get asked “what’s that bat you’re using?” Usually as they’re watching the ball disappear into the distance.