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  1. 12 bats h4l


    The 12 Bats of Christmas - Hell4Leather Warbird

    We spoke about Hell 4 Leather in our last feature and no bat list would be complete without a creation from Kent’s master bat maker Matt Barton. Whilst in conversation with one bat maker he said that he rates Matt as possibly the finest bat maker in the country and this definitely shows in his attention to detail. Not only will he  personally select his own willow, but he will fell his own trees and H4L have even started replanting their own willow trees at their workshop.

    New for 2016 is the H4L Warbird, a stunning bat that has a few tricks up its sleeve to ensure you get the maximum reward for your efforts in the middle. The blade has been reduced in length by 12mm to pack more wood into the middle giving you a spine height of over 60mm and edges of over 36mm. The face of the bat is flat pressed and is slightly bowed whilst the middle remains fairly central and the back has minimal concaving to its profile.

    With more weight into the shortened blade some the Warbird counters this by using two tricks. Firstly the toe has been shaped into a duckbill to help take the weight out of the bottom of the blade and secondly the extra long handle features a counter balance at the top to give it a pick up which feels at least 2 ounces lighter than its dead weight.

    The stunning graphics with an electric blue feature colour over the black embossed H4L label add to the drama and the new multi colour, multi textured grip helps keep the power in your hands. To finish off a H4L devil is branded onto the edge along with an edge sticker boasting #h4lruns. You’ll be needing that hashtag after each match.


  2. 12 bats warsop


    The 12 Bats of Christmas - Warsop Inspire 152

    Warsop Stebbing have been hand making cricket bats since 1870 so if you want someone with experience then choosing a brand that have produced over ¼ million bats, including one for the great W.G. Grace, is going to be a good choice.

    Based in the heart of Essex they are in prime position to pick from the premium  willow supplier in the world, right on their doorstep. The attention to detail that comes from the decades of experience is evident in how they work with the willow, for example, timber with a close strong grain on the right will be used for a right handed bat, avoiding splits on outside edging that might otherwise occur.

    We have chosen the range topping Inspire 152 bat which benefits from all the special treatment you’d expect from a beautifully handcrafted bat. Out of 100 clefts of wood there might be 1 or 2 good enough to be worthy of being turned into an Inspire 152, and you can choose to have this made into a custom bat made or leave the decisions to the experts by ordering via their website.

    The shape is modern with nice big edges and a slight concaving to the back of the bat with the high spine stretching all the way through the toe. As you’d expect with a custom bat you can adapt the profile to suit your game with a low, mid or high sweet spot, a choice of round or oval handle available in short, long or super short size. There’s a noticeable difference with the handles Warsop use though and it’s that they make them themselves. Cane is imported from Malaysia to be combined with spliced timber and a pair of rubber inlays (unless you request more) to create your perfect handle.

    Once the profile has been shaped the edges of the bat will be ‘boned’ by drawing a hard piece of wood down the edges to roll them and take the sharp edge off before the eye catching red and silver stickers are applied. Then all you have to do is put it to good use.