Laver & Wood’s Cricket Bat Lore Ch 6. Grain Structure & Willow Colour

One of the most common questions asked by cricketers is how different grains perform in cricket bats. There are a number of different factors to consider when discussing grains, and there are no absolutely right answers. The natural variation in willow means that there are rules, rather than hard laws, about grains in bats.

A cleft showing a dark streak of heartwood.

The number of grains affects the grade of the willow, and affects the look of the bat. From a bat makers perspective we like to get a balance between performance and durability. There is often, but not always, a trade off between the performance of the bat and its durability.

Some players will have had bats with a large number of grains that have performed better than any other bat they have used, so they want to stay with blades with a large number of grains. Others will have been disappointed that their tightly grained bat did not last very long, and prefer to go for a more conventional seven to nine grains. Batsmen of the calibre of Viv Richards and Sunil Gavaskar favoured bats with few grains, so a lot of the decisions about the number of grains ultimately comes down to personal preference.

To find out more about grains structure and willow colour and how these affect the performance of your bat please purchase Laver & Wood’s Cricket Bat Lore Volume I from Amazon.

More Laver & Wood Cricket Bat Lore chapter introductions can be found below.

1. Salix alba var. Caerulea

2. Watermark Disease

3. Why English Willow

4. Grading Willow

5. Butterfly Willow

6. Grain Structure & Willow Colour

7. Testing a Cleft

8. Laver & Wood’s Guide to Cricket Bat Handles

9. Laver & Wood’s Handles

10. Handle Breakage

11. Revised Handle Laws

12. Handle Manufacture

13. The Coefficient of Restitution and Centre of Percussion – What are these?

14. The Importance of Pressing Cricket Bat Willow

15. Traditional Bat Making

16. Tools used in Traditional Batmaking I

17. Tools used in Traditional Batmaking II

18. Tools used in Traditional Batmaking III

19. Tools used in Traditional Batmaking IV

20. The Weather & Bat Making

21. Preseason Bat Check

22. Bat Repair and Maintenance

23.  Knocking In

24. Oiling Bats

25. Moisture Damage

26. Batting in Wet Conditions

27. Making Bats Last Longer

28. Why Bats Break & How to Protect Them