Although Middlepeg carries a complete and unsurpassed range of cricket equipment it is our unrivalled selection of the very finest and best cricket bats in world cricket that we are most proud of. From day one it was our quest to ensure that for the first time ever cricketers at all levels could use what are the best cricket bats in the world. These bats are the very same cricket bats used by top international cricketers made exclusively for them by a select few master cricket bat makers. Better still with Middlepegs revolutionary business operation these masterpieces come individually handcrafted for you to your own specifications at prices lower than most 'off the shelf' cricket bats.

Our passion for cricket bats and relationship with numerous Master Pod Shavers sees Middlepeg proudly hold the status of the number 1 seller of custom made cricket bats in the world. Having established Middlepeg as the home and source for both the finest bats in cricket we also carry a carefully selected range of high quality English willow cricket bats which all offer sensational value and true hand crafted performance.

Phil from middlepeg with a Laver & Wood cricket bat Our range and selection of cricket bats are our pride and joy and we thoroughly enjoy hearing our customers telling us how amazed they are at the incredible performance of their individually handcrafted cricket bat. The same also goes for our master cricket bat makers who treat each of the bats they handcraft as if it was being made for Sir Donald Bradman himself. Middlepeg has a close working relationship and friendship with the Bradbury's and James Laver and we know how much care and dedication goes into every single cricket bat they make which makes it very easy to whole heartedly recommend to you that these are the best cricket bats in the world bar none.


Middlepegs Selection of Cricket Bats

With our collective, life long fascination and passion for cricket gear Middlepegs catalogue offers cricket bats ranging from those which are quite simply the best around through to those which are the best quality and value for money in the world today.

There are a lot of decisions to be made by an individual when deciding which model and style to chose when purchasing a new cricket bat. Whilst your choice of cricket bat is entirely an individual issue that relates to both personal preference and finance, Middlepeg has every possible choice to meet and more than satisfy your individual decision making process.

When deciding which cricket bats to include in our range Middlepeg carries out an exhaustive testing program on all potential new cricket bats and models. This testing program quite literally sees staff from Middlepeg going around the world buying and testing new cricket bats for potential inclusion into our range. First and foremost on our list of 'must haves' is the quality of the craftsmanship and the choice or grade of English willow used in making the cricket bats.

Having visited the worlds foremost experts and suppliers of English willow (see our World of Willow section) we have a thorough insight into what willow is required to make cricket bats perform the way we all want them to perform. The choice of willow used in crafting a cricket bat is of the utmost importance and will ultimately dictate the quality and performance of that particular bat. A good cleft of willow can be made into a great cricket bat but it is quite difficult if not impossible to turn a poor cleft of willow into a good cricket bat. For further information on willow we discuss all aspects of this area in our World of Willow section.

Once you have your willow it is then up to the cricket bat makers skill to ensure that they convert that cleft into the best possible performing cricket bat suitable to that particular cleft of willow.

Today the art of cricket bat making is basically broken into two quite clear categories. These are your general cricket bat makers who produce bats through a mechanised process (ie cricket bat making machines) and your Pod Shavers who are master cricket bat makers who individually hand craft and hand shave all of the cricket bats they make.

Now although there are some very fine cricket bats that come out of a bat making machine there can be no comparison between the quality and performance of a hand crafted cricket bat to one which has come out of a cricket bat machine. Master Pod Shavers like James Laver (Laver & Wood) and the Bradbury's (Bradbury Cricket Bats) are able to hand craft clefts of English willow into cricket bats which simply offer unparalleled quality, balance and phenomenal performance. Given that these two marques of cricket bats are considered to be the best in the world (and used by some of the best players in the world) Middlepeg categorically stands behind these two outstanding handcrafted blades as being a very clear level above all other cricket bats in world cricket.

As mentioned above there are none the less some mighty fine cricket bats that are manufactured with a cricket bat making machine. But again, crucial in this process is the choice of willow used to make that cricket bat. So when deciding which cricket bats to have under this category it was crucial for Middlepeg to be assured that only the best willow was used and that the cricket bats all performed to the highest standard. To ensure these highest standards are maintained all of the cricket bats we carry undergo not only a thorough test program but also at least a season of use in Grade Cricket.

Although Middlepeg carries cricket bats from some well known cricket bat makers we have, through our search for all bats made, discovered some outstanding cricket bats which had never before been offered on the Australian and world wide market. With Middlepegs exclusive and manufacturer direct arrangement with some of these cricket bat makers and in line with Middlepegs Mission we are also able to offer these cricket bats at sensational prices for bats that are of such good quality and outstanding performance.


Laver & Wood Cricket Bats

Widely regarded as the best cricket bat in the world, crafted by the best and used by many of the best. Handcrafted by Master Pod Shaver James Laver from the finest materials. Each Laver & Wood cricket bat is individually handcrafted to your own personal specifications by James Laver himself. Available through Middlepeg at prices better than many 'off the shelf' bats from cricket shops.

For more information please visit Middlepegs Laver & Wood Cricket Bats page

    


Bradbury Cricket Bats

The Bradbury's have carved themselves a world wide reputation for handcrafting some of the finest cricket bats in world cricket. Their reputation and craftsmanship as Master Pod Shavers sees their cricket bats being used by numerous top international test players. Each Bradbury cricket bat is handcrafted to your own specifications. 

For more information please visit Middlepegs Bradbury Cricket Bats page

        


Bellingham & Smith Cricket Bats

 

The actual cricket bat used by most of the South African cricket team. All handcrafted by Bellingham & Smiths cricket bat makers these blades offer exceptional performance. Our selection of Bellingham & Smith cricket bats are all personally hand selected by Middlepeg.

 

For more information please visit Middlepegs Bellingham & Smith Cricket Bats page

      


MRF Cricket Bats

Used by the best batsman in the world in Sachin Tendulkar. MRF cricket bats are made from the highest grade English willow. With their simple design, thick edges and stunning graphics they are a classic cricket bat. MRF cricket bats are also crafted with the bowed blade design that many leading batsmen, including Sachin, swear by (see below).
MRF cricket bats are sold elsewhere for well over $500 but not at Middlepeg! 


Click here to go to Middlepegs MRF cricket bats catalogue.

    


CA Cricket Bats

Used by numerous Test players (yes 'actually' used) including Inzamam ul Haq. Just like the MRF cricket bats, the CA cricket bats have the simple and traditional design of a classic cricket bat. It is no coincidence that all the better cricket bats going around retain the simple & traditional original design and are without all the "latest fandangled turbocharged shapes and gimmicks". Middlepegs range of CA cricket bats are all handcrafted with a superb bow from Grade 1and Grade 2 English Willow. Middlepegs exclusive deal with CA Sports also means that the entire CA range is offered at sensational prices for such a very high quality cricket bat. You simply cannot buy such high quality English willow cricket bats at Middlepegs prices anywhere else in the world. 

Click here to go to Middlepegs CA cricket bats catalogue.
Or read about the new CA Pro Cricket Bat.

      


BAS Cricket Bats

 

Considered the best cricket bats from the sub-continent and accordingly used by a number of international players from all over the world. Middlepeg has a handpicked selection of the top BAS model - the BAS Blaster Vampire. 

 

For more information please visit Middlepegs BAS cricket bats page

      


AS Sports Cricket Bats


The latest addition to the Middlepeg cricket bat range. An awesome cricket bat in terms of both their performance, exceptional quality and amazing value. All our AS cricket bats are the highest grade English willow. Made with a fantastic bowed blade design these cricket bats accordingly pickup a dream and they all pack heaps of power. Along with the CA range, probably the best value cricket bat in world cricket. 

 

For more information please visit Middlepegs AS Sports cricket bats page

 

    


Ihsan Sports Cricket Bats

 

Established over 50 years ago Ihsan Sports are widely known for the quality and performance of their cricket bats and cricket equipment. No collection of the sub continents finest blades could be complete without the inclusion of these masterpieces. Exquisitely hand crafted these beautifully bowed blades are made with the very finest Grade One willow and we have the very best selection of the top Ihsan cricket bats. The latest addition to our carefully chosen and tested list of cricket bats our Ihsan blades are absolute belters. The Ihsan Crown is in fact so popular (and often imitated by others) that they now come officially stamped with a Certificate proving their authenticity.

For more information please visit Middlepegs Ihsan Sports cricket bats page

         


Matrix Cricket Bats   -    Exclusive to Middlepeg

 

Middlepeg is proud to exclusively and solely launch the World Wide release of the Matrix cricket bat. The most technologically advanced cricket bat in world cricket combining cutting edge technologies with traditional Pod Shaving techniques and hand craftsmanship. Will storm through world cricket circles and has already been grabbed (pre release) by Test cricketers. 

 

See below for history of the Matrix cricket bat. 

For more information please visit Middlepegs Matrix cricket bat page

          

 

  Middlepeg Cricket Bat Packages  


Middlepegs 'Standard' Cricket Bat Package         -         FREE with ALL cricket bats sold

In keeping with Middlepegs quest to offer our customers unrivalled levels of service, value and quality, all cricket bats ordered through Middlepeg come with our free cricket bat package valued at over $75.

Whilst some cricket shops are still charging customers for items like Bat Bags, facing, oil and so on Middlepegs Cricket Bat Package comes free with ALL cricket bats sold by us. Our free cricket bat packages have taken the world by storm with no competitor even coming close to matching this offer - indeed most as mentioned are still charging for such items.

  • Custom full length cricket bat Bag
  • $25 Gift Voucher
  • Raw Linseed Oil
  • Edge Tape
  • Cricket Bat Facing Sheet (standard)
  • Cricket Bat Care Booklet
  • Sand Paper
  • Extra Grip  
  • PLUS a free gift - A book on Sir Donald Bradman.
    Over 90 pages of facts, stats and information on
    the greatest batsman ever.

 

Middlepegs 'Deluxe' Cricket Bat Package & Facing Service          -         Only $18

Includes all the items in the 'Cricket Bat Package' (see above) plus the addition and application to your cricket bat of our superb and exclusive Middlepeg Cricket Bat Facing. Click here to read all about what is the best cricket bat facing material in world cricket. This package includes the service and bonus of applying your Middlepeg Cricket Bat Facing which includes a;

  • all the items in the above package PLUS
  • pre application of oil
  • post pre-app light sanding
  • placement of the facing,
  • and the application of edge tape as well.

This is the best pre service available for a cricket bat and this process and 'Middlepegs Cricket Bat Facing' is fully endorsed as the best available by the best cricket bat makers in the world. Middlepegs 'Deluxe Package & Facing Service' is a sensational offer and service valued at over $95 … all this for only $18! (Middlepegs Cricket Bat Facing alone is worth $12!)


Bowed Blades - 'To bow or not to bow'

Although straight blade designs have mostly dominated the cricket scene in Australia and the world, it is now well worth noting that the biggest cricket bat manufacturers in the world have slowly begun to realise the merits of the bowed blade with the release of their "own" bowed blade designs. Cricket bat makers like CA, AS Sports, MRF and others however have been making Bowed Blades for the last 40 years. 

For these last 40 years the benefits of a bowed blade have been well known by many master Pod Shavers but for reasons unknown the big manufacturers refused to have a bowed blade design. Today they are advertising and heavily promoting 'their' bowed blades. 

As for Middlepegs views on a bowed blade, having now used a number of CA, AS Sports and MRF cricket bats which feature the bowed blade we feel that there is no question that this simple principle works. This is especially so for the player who likes to hit over the top with the blade providing clearly more power and oomph for the lofted shot. So again, whilst it is obviously up to the individual many people who have never used bowed blades before swear by them after using them for the first time.

 

 

Cricket Bat Selection Tips

With the choice of cricket bats available at Middlepeg we are often contacted by cricketers who are not quite sure which cricket bat to go for. When this occurs it is Middlepegs pleasure to guide you by discussing your personal preferences in a cricket bat using numerous factors such as weight, sizing, style, budget and timeframe. Some of these factors are quite important. 

For instance when a customer has been using a cricket bat of their own for some time we like to know the exact weight of the cricket bat they own. And we do mean exact here - kitchen scales are generally not accurate enough. Unless you have very accurate 3 or 5kg digital scales we suggest you pop down to your local Post Office who have very accurate digital scales and let us know the exact weight in kilograms (ie 1.125 kgs) or pounds (ie 2lb 9oz). On this we often find cricketers being surprised by the actual weight of their cricket bat. What is often sold in a shop as say a 2lb 8oz bat is often not that at all. (By the way, since we have been recommending this Post Offices or shops around the world have seen many cricket bats come in to be weighed. It only takes a few seconds so they don't mind at all). 

Once we have established your personal views we can then proceed with the best options and alternatives. This is a process that Middlepeg thoroughly enjoys so please do not hesitate to contact us for advice on cricket bat selection.


Middlepeg, Cricket Bats and the Cricket Industry

There is a lot that goes on in the cricket industry when it comes to gear and equipment. Middlepeg through its quest to provide you with the best gear at the best prices has always ensured and will always ensure that our products meet that goal regardless of what happens in the cricket industry. 

Today the game of cricket is a very big global industry with business and annual worldwide sales growing steadily. As with all big businesses the quest to increase sales, market share and profits often leads towards a reduction or minimisation of costs which most unfortunately has lead in some instances to a reduction of product quality. Consumers are often paying at least the same (if not more) for products which may not be as high in quality as they should be. 

Instead of focusing on product improvement, genuine innovation and not forgetting good old fashion craftsmanship some companies prefer to invest in marketing, advertising, endorsements and other promotional pursuits which contribute little to product quality. Indeed given the astronomical cost of advertising and player endorsements in the game of cricket today it often means there are no budgetary funds available for what companies should be spending their money on - genuine research and development. 

This is especially so when it comes to cricket bats where healthy figures are paid out in player endorsements. Whilst paying well known cricketers endorsements to use a product is a totally normal and fundamental right in cricket and all sports industries (and we certainly and absolute totally support a fully open and free market economy) there should perhaps be a little refocus back to product quality and improvement rather then on marketing. 

Given the passion that we have long held for cricket bats and the art of Pod Shaving we are meticulous about the cricket bats we offer because amongst other things we share and can  relate to the excitement a batsman feels when they are delighted with the performance and balance of their new cricket bat. 

And whether it is hosting events like "A Night of Bradman & Blades" (which saw the Bradman Museum and James Laver all come to Western Australia for this Middlepeg function) or traveling the globe in search of the best cricket gear around (see Ultralite Pads) Middlepeg intends to continue bringing cricketers the best choices and prices available. Constantly liaising with the best Pod Shavers in cricket like the Bradbury's and James Laver is also only part of that process when it comes to cricket bats. 


Latest and Unique Cricket Bat Designs

With our collective fascination of cricket bats of all makes and designs Middlepeg has acquired a world class collection of the very latest and unique cricket bat designs.

Perhaps our most unique cricket bat we have on show at Middlepeg is the 'infamous' Dennis Lillee aluminium 'ComBat'. This cricket bat (pictured below) created headlines across the world when Dennis Lillee first tried to use the bat in a Test Match against England at the WACA ground over 20 years ago. Unfortunately for Dennis (who was a founder and co-designer of the ComBat cricket bat) the English captain complained that the bat was damaging the ball and the umpires asked Dennis to stop using it. After a bit of a 'debate' Dennis did stop using it and that was the last the world saw of the Combat on the international stage as the International Cricket Council later amended the playing laws so that only wood could be used to make cricket bats.

In discussing the ComBat design with Dennis it was interesting to find out that he and his partner came up with the idea and principle from a piece of aluminium staircase balustrade they had lying around. As for the performance of the ComBat we thoroughly enjoy having a hit with it in our nets as it actually doesn't have that bad a middle on it. You just have to be seeing the ball like a watermelon as the middle or hitting zone is not that big. That said however it was amazing to see Justin Langer having a hit with it in the nets we had set up at the "Night of Bradman and Blades" as quite literally Justin found the middle of it every single time!

Aside from some of our old classic cricket bats Middlepeg is often contacted by many new cricket bat designers asking us to test out their new concept and cricket bat design. Though currently the best cricket bats are still those that stick to the traditional English Willow design it will, given the rate of technological change, not be long before advanced composites and designs produce a cricket bat to rival and perhaps outperform the traditional English Willow cricket bat. That said however, regardless of what composites may contribute to the cricket world they will still not be able to be used as the ICC laws state that only wood can be used in the blade of a cricket bat so change will also have to take place at the ICC.

One such high tech cricket bat that we are very impressed with is the Matrix which is a cricket bat that has undergone substantial and extensive scientific research and development. Matrix cricket bats have Kevlar inserts placed into the handle and the benefits of this can be clearly felt when having a hit with it. Of all the composites that exist today it is Kevlar that offers much in the field of cricket and cricket bat design and given that Kevlar is only used in the handle of the Matrix cricket bat the bat is fully authorised by the ICC and able to be used at all levels of cricket.

Traditional cane handles transfer a reasonable amount of energy into a stroke and the blade. The principle of the Matrix sees the introduction of Kevlar to produce a super stiff handle leading to a correspondingly better transfer of energy than the traditional handle. Our concerns with this revolved around the handles shock absorption properties. However our testing found that the Matrix handles (with the Kevlar insert in the centre between the rubber inserts) gave both the shock absorption of rubber and the stiffness and lightness of Kevlar.

Middlepeg is still in the process of completing our comprehensive test program on the Matrix cricket bat but all results to date have proved promising. Once our test program is complete and should the Matrix have performed well in an actual season of Grade Cricket we expect to be, on current results, carrying the Matrix cricket bat. If you are interested in the results of our Matrix cricket bat test program please feel free to contact us or stay tuned for further updates.

                 

The awesome blade design of the Matrix    

Click here for the latest update 
on the sensational Matrix cricket bat

    


Interesting Cricket Bat Facts

There are a lot of facts and almost as many fallacies when it comes to cricket bats and people are often quite surprised by many of these facts and issues. We have included this section because we are often asked these questions by our customers and because of reasons which we don't understand, many large cricket manufacturing companies simply do not want you to know. This is not the case with all large cricket manufacturing companies and we genuinely applaud those companies who are transparent and open with their customers.

  • Over 80% (and probably much higher) of all cricket bats today are made in India. Regardless of where you might 'think' your cricket bat is made and regardless of what famous brand your cricket bat is the overwhelming probability is that it is made in India. Now…there is actually nothing wrong with this as many great cricket bats actually come from the subcontinent and indeed many of the better Pod Shavers today are from there as well. Also, some of our own biggest selling cricket bat brands come from these very same master cricket bat makers. The only issue here is the widespread public misconception continually perpetuated by some companies that their cricket bats are made locally in line with their 'local' and long standing reputation/s in certain countries. This perpetuation is a fallacy and we along with many in the industry do not understand why certain companies are not proud of where their cricket bats are made. This is not the case with all the large manufacturing companies and we thoroughly applaud those who proudly emblazon that their cricket bats are actually "Made in England" or "Made in Australia" and so on. Perhaps it is time for the cricket industry to self regulate itself at least a little and ask that all cricket bats come mandatory with a "Country of Manufacture" sticker on it. Its mandatory in many other industries so why not in the cricket industry? All companies generally make great cricket bats so why not be proud of where your bat is actually made and stand by it? 
  • The remaining 20% (probably less) of cricket bats are mostly made in Australia, England, South Africa, Pakistan, and New Zealand. 
  • All countries that make cricket bats produce both fantastic and not so fantastic bats - it simply depends on the skill of the cricket bat Maker (see our World of Willow section), the quality of the willow used and the techniques used to make the cricket bat (preferably hand crafted and not made by a mechanised cricket bat machine) 
  • Where are the best cricket bats made? This is obviously a question based on opinion but if we go by the majority of the best international Test cricketers then they would say the best cricket bats come from New Zealand and Australia but that is ONLY because the best Master Pod Shavers are based in these countries. Going by Middlepegs testing program we agree with these views but certainly the ultimate test of a cricket bat makers skill is which world class cricketers are using their cricket bats and we know which bats most Test cricketers are actually using. That said many other cricketers (including the best batsman in the world) like their cricket bats from other cricket bat makers so it does come down to their and your own personal opinions as well. 
  • Most cricket bats sold publicly in the world today are made by mechanised cricket bat making machines. This is unfortunate as the best cricket bats are hand crafted but you can still find excellent cricket bats which come from these cricket bat making machines. 
  • English Willow is only sold and classified under 5 grades starting from Grade 1 which is the best going through to Grade 5. Over 90% of the worlds English Willow comes from the JS Wrights & Sons Willow farm (yes 90%!) and this is how they and the remaining 10% classify willow. Try not to get caught up in the marketing pizzazz of statements like "5 Star" willow and so on. When it leaves the Willow farms it is either Grade 1 through to Grade 5 and this is how companies should stick with their willow classifications. 
  • Prior to the Dennis Lillee aluminium "Combat" cricket bat (click here to see this bat) there were unbelievably no rules or regulations on what a cricket bat could be made of. Following the Dennis Lillee episode the ICC & MCC put rules in place ensuring that the blades of cricket bats were made from wood. 
  • We don't know what the world record was or is but the heaviest cricket bat we have sold is a custom made bat that weighed 3lb 8oz - this bat was unbelievably huge! Generally the average weight of a cricket bat in and around the world today is approx 2lb 9oz. 
  • Sir Donald Bradman's record breaking triple test century cricket bat weighed 2lb 4oz. Sachin Tendulkar's cricket bat weighs around the 3lb plus mark. 
  • Some international cricketers actually use the cricket bats their sponsoring company makes for them and we applaud those that do use the actual cricket bats they are paid to use. 
  • The majority of the best cricket bat handles in world cricket all come from Indonesia (excluding the Matrix cricket bat handle). Your cricket bat handle is probably from there in fact. 
  • 'Pod Shaving' is the original traditional and technical term used to describe the process of making a cricket bat. 
  • The weight of a cricket bat does not dictate its balance, lift or pickup. This is dictated by the skill of the cricket bat maker during the design and shaping of the bat. We have examples of cricket bats that weigh 2lb 12oz that pickup and lift better than a bat weighing 2lb 8oz. 
  • The price of a cricket bat does not dictate its quality. We have cricket bats worth $250 that perform better than many $400 plus bats out there. It all comes down to the skill of the Cricket Bat Maker, the quality of the willow used and the techniques used to make the bat (preferably hand crafted and not made by a mechanised cricket bat machine) 
  • Many years ago, some unbelievably used to advise it was best to soak your entire cricket bat in a drum of Linseed Oil. This is not, repeat NOT advisable to say the least. With Linseed Oil application on cricket bats the best rule is "less applied regularly is best" (see Cricket Bat Care section) 
  • The species of English Willow used for making cricket bats is 'Salix Alba Caerulea'. There are various other types of English willow but these are generally not used in the making of cricket bats. Some have tried to grow 'Salix Alba Caerulea' in other areas around the world but results to date clearly show that the best 'Salix Alba Caerulea' cricket bat willow is only grown in England. 
  • The first recorded cricket match took place at Coxheath in Kent, England in 1646. The first bats used in cricket (then referred to as 'criquet') were sticks and also shepherds crooks. By early in the 18th century cricket bats looked like curved clubs similar to the one pictured below which is a scene from the Artillery Ground in London. Incidentally 'criquet' was also recorded as being extensively played in Southern France.

  • The best willow and cricket bats are only lightly pressed before being completed. Cricket bats which are over pressed during their crafting or production do not have as good a middle and 'ping performance' as bats which are lightly pressed. Lots (and lots) of cricket bat companies detrimentally over press their bats so that they last longer so as to simply have less customer returns. 
  • One of the worst places to leave a cricket bat is a place where lots of cricketers leave them - in the boots of cars. Heat and humidity are the worst enemies of willow and this is multiplied one hundred fold in a car boot especially in summer when cricket is played. 
  • Some international Test cricketers can go through as many as one cricket bat per Test match. Some Test players however like to find a blade that they are totally in love with (often found from a choice or selection) and then use it for as long as they can.

Middlepeg welcomes receiving other interesting cricket bat facts. If they are facts (or factual fallacies so to speak) we would enjoy adding them to this section.