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.

Clefts stacked ready for processing

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.

To find out more about Salix alba var. Caerulea 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