ENGLISH WILLOW VS KASHMIR WILLOW

ENGLISH WILLOW VS KASHMIR WILLOW

  • English Willow vs Kashmir Willow bat: Which one is better for me?

You must have encountered this dilemma if you have played cricket for any significant amount of time. Let's answer this question once and for all.



3 types of woods are used in making cricket bats all over the world


 

  1. ENGLISH WILLOW 
  2. KASHMIR WILLOW
  3. POPULAR WILLOW

The Popular willows are used in making cricket bats for use only against tennis/plastic balls.
 English Willow and Kashmir Willow are used for making cricket bats for use against leather cricket balls. To understand the difference between the two, let us first get to know them better.

Both willows are obtained from the same tree, SALIX ALBA var. caerulea. YES!!! You read it right. This tree is found in many parts of the world, especially in cold weather regions such as Canada, UK, Kashmir,  Europe, Russia, Pakistan.

But due to the differences in other physical factors such as the amount of rainfall, climatic changes, soil nutrients, and moisture content, the physical properties of this tree vary from region to region.

Salix Alba Caerulea grew in England (not the entire UK) and Kashmir are most conducive for making cricket bats. Their strength, density, rebound quality, and moisture content make them fit for impact against leather cricket balls. 


Now, let’s know the differences between these two varieties and how they affect the choice of cricketing fraternity around the globe –


1.  
AESTHETICS 

The aesthetics of English willow bats and Kashmir willow bats differ in the following aspects :

a.   Grain Profile – Grains are thin Reddish-brown/black lines found on the surface of cricket bats. The grains of English willow cricket bats are more prominent than the grains of Kashmir Willow cricket bats.

 It means that they are more clearly visible on English willow bats than on Kashmir Willow bats. They may even be absent on lower grade Kashmir willow bats.

 The difference in the number of grains is not so prominent though. We can have a broad 4-5 grains bat and a narrow 15 grains bat in both kinds of willows.





AND THIS IS WHERE YOU NEED TO BE CAREFUL !!

Top 5% of high-grade Kashmir willows may have similar grain profile to lower grade English willows. The difference in their visibility will be there 99% of the times. Grains in English willows are almost always darker than in Kashmir Willows. 

This is one of the most important things to consider to spot the difference between the two. Some unethical sellers sell these top-grade Kashmir Willows under English Willow tag with duplicate stickers of big brands. 

This dark industry is rampant in both, Meerut and Jalandhar, the two cricket bat manufacturing hubs of the world. The tips to consider to save yourself from such unethical frauds will be discussed in another blog post.

b.    Colour – English Willows are generally whiter than Kashmir Willows. Though both willows may be double shaded, the white part of English willows will be whiter than the white part of Kashmir willows.

 This is why an English willow bat looks shinier after finishing as compared to a Kashmir willow bat. Kashmir willow bats look somewhat dull as compared to English Willow bats. Though the colour of lower grade English willow bats may be similar to Kashmir willow bats.




c.     Fibre Orientation – The orientation of fibres in Kashmir Willows are predominantly horizontal while that of English willows are predominantly vertical. This is one of the reasons that the grains of Kashmir Willow are less visible.

 The fibres intersect the grain, thereby, making it less visible. Although, fibres in a few low-grade English willows may show horizontal orientation and vice-versa. But, this is an uncommon phenomenon with less than 10% of English willows showing such similarity to Kashmir willows.

 It may happen in lowest grade dual-shaded English willows, especially in the red part of such cleft. Exceptional cases may appear as wood is a natural product and both willows are similar on the sub-species level.



Consider the combination of the above aesthetic factors while buying a cricket bat if you are not sure about the brand/dealer. If someone offers an English willow bat between 2000-3500 on retail, without GST invoice, with good 5+ grains and without any dead-knots/pin-knots/blemishes/marks/specks or a combination of these imperfections, then 9 out of 10 times, it is a Kashmir willow bat disguised under an English willow tag.

 

2.     PERFORMANCE 

The performance of a cricket bat is measured in terms of its rebound quality, aka PING/PUNCH in cricketing language. The further the bat is capable of sending a cricket ball after impact, the better the performance.

English Willow bats perform better than Kashmir Willow bats and preferred by professional players in general TRUE!

Kashmir Willow bats cannot be used at the professional level MYTH, MYTH, MYTH !!!

This is contrary to what most people, including professional cricketers, believe. Kashmir Willow cricket bats are equally capable of performing well. Though, the percentage of such high-performance Kashmir Willow bats is far lesser than English willow bats.

 For example, 80% of English willow bats perform well enough to be used by professionals as compared to around 15% of Kashmir Willow bats. Some Kashmir willow bats take a little longer to show prime performance while some show great ping right at the outset. 

Ping is also dependent upon the amount of pressing applied to a particular cleft. If pressing is done right, a high-grade Kashmir Willow bat will give full value for shots just like an English Willow bat. A top-grade Kashmir Willow bat is better than a low-grade English Willow bat.

Don’t believe us? Try our TOP GRADE KASHMIR WILLOW CRICKET BAT – TORPEDO  and you may never prefer to buy an English Willow bat again. The bats in this range are made from the selected English Willow like Kashmir willows and are guaranteed to support you in hitting those blazing sixes out of the park.

 
3.     DURABILITY 

Since both willows are obtained from the same tree, there is not much of a difference in terms of the durability of an English willow bat and a Kashmir Willow bat. The probability of breaking/not breaking is equal for both kinds of willows. 

Though, English Willow is softer and requires better care and handling. This is the reason why all cricket bat manufacturers including us have the same warranty terms and conditions for both cricket bats.
 
4.     WEIGHT 

Kashmir willows are generally heavier than English willows. This is because the density and moisture content of Kashmir grown cricket bat willow is more than the English counterpart. 
This is another reason why most professional players do not prefer Kashmir willow bats.

 Bat speed may get affected against faster deliveries which can lead to inferior performance in matches. But as mentioned earlier, it is possible to make a perfectly balanced, full back profile bat with thick edges. The percentage of such bats will be far lesser than in English willow.

 Our highest grade Kashmir willow cricket bats are in the 1170-1220gm weight range. This is the medium weight range preferred by most adult professional players around the world.

The skill of the bat-maker plays a huge role in giving just that perfect feel and pick-up while hitting a shot. Weight distribution is more important than the dead weight of a cricket bat. A well balanced 1200gm cricket bat will feel lighter than a not so well balanced 1150gm bat.
 
 
5.     PRICE 

In the end, it all boils down to this!!! How big will be the hole in the pocket? English willow bats are way more expensive than Kashmir willow bats. The prices of English willow bats are in the range INR 3000 to crazy INR 60000 these days. The prices of Kashmir willow bats are in the range INR 1000 to INR 3500. The choice depends upon the level of cricket to be played, skill level, age, and your budget.


  ENGLISH WILLOW VS KASHMIR WILLOW: HOW TO CHOOSE


1. If you are buying a bat for your 10-year-old kid, always buy a junior size Kashmir willow bat. We know you love them and want to provide the best equipment to fulfil their dreams, this is not the right time yet. At this level, the child will be learning basics and will spend most of the time doing shadow practise and short-hand drills to develop basic technique. He will not play any competitive cricket. Though, coaches may indulge them in matches played with a tennis ball to develop competition and team spirit. There is no need to go for any high-end English willow bat.

2. If you are not a professional player, it is a much smarter choice to go for a top-grade Kashmir willow bat rather than an English willow bat. It will give you the same performance as compared to an English willow bat. The reason is that English willow is softer and more delicate. At unprofessional/corporate level cricket, the quality of pitches, cricket balls and incorrect technique of the players may lead to early damage to the bat.


3.   If you are a professional player, you should have BOTH the varieties in your collection. This is particularly important if you don’t mind playing with a 1200gm cricket bat. You will get a very decent Kashmir willow bat in this weight range. There is no use of breaking your expensive English willow bat in your practice sessions. Especially against bowling machine and practising against synthetic balls. Some players even practice with a wet heavy tennis ball where bowling machine is not available. Kashmir willow bats can also be used in local tournaments where inferior quality balls are used. It is a much smarter choice to use a Kashmir Willow bat in such instances. Our TORPEDO bat is a guaranteed replacement to English willow cricket bats if you are looking for awesome performance in the budget. We know how important it is for your favourite match bat to last for as long as possible. Let the cheaper Kashmir willow bat take those nasty hits during practice sessions away from your favourite bat.


4.  If you are a high-level professional player who doesn’t mind spending money on your cricket equipment and prefer ultralight bats (under 1150 grams), then you should always opt for mid to high range English willow bats.



For any other query, feel free to contact us. No matter what kind of bats you need, GOLDFINCH CRICKET always has the solution. Just visit our shop to get your custom made English Willow Cricket bats. We can also provide custom made Kashmir willow cricket bats on special request by a professional player.


 

 
 
 
 
 
X