Cricket-Box offer you the best cricketing products available at affordable prices. They don't want to offer you a plank with the best shiny sticker on it, just because it is endorsed by some so-called superstar. So here's some help...
There are only six species of willow used for cricket bats, the most suitable variety is salix alba 'caerulea' because it is tough, lightweight and doesn't splinter easily.
A good bat is produced by craftsmen and their aim is to combine excellent hitting power with durability. The combination is not always, if at all easy. Softer pressed bats tend to "go better' but are even more likely to crack. The harder pressed bats last longer but often hitting power is compromised. The bat makers' aim is to strike a balance between the two to make the best all round cricket bat.
Bat choice and bat preparation
About willow grades
Below is a guide which you may find useful when comparing cricket bats.
Grade 1 plus - G1+ The very best of English willow, often reserved for the manufacturers own Pro Players and utilised in such bats described as Limited Edition, Ultimate, or SPS. Unbleached with straight even grains and absolute minimal marking or discolouration in the face.
Grade 1 - G1 Top quality English Willow. Good straight grain structure and unbleached with minimal marking or discolouration in the face.
Grade 2 - G2 Unbleached English Willow with some irregular grain patterning and some minor blemishes and possible reddening in the blade.
Grade 3 - G3 Usually unbleached English Willow with irregular grain pattern and some marking and discolouration in the blade.
Grade 4 - G4 English Willow usually bleached and often non oil with a covering to the face of the bat.