A cricket bat is a specialised piece of equipment used by batsmen in the sport of cricket to hit the ball, typically consisting of a cane handle attached to a flat-fronted willow-wood blade. The length of the bat may be no more than 38 inches (965 mm) and the width no more than 4.25 inches (108 mm). Its use is first mentioned in 1624.
Sizes of bats
Law 6 of the Laws of Cricket, as the rules of the game are known, state that the length of the bat may be no more than 38 in (965 mm) and the width no more than 4.25 in (108 mm). Bats typically weigh from 2 lb 7 oz to 3 lb (1.2 to 1.4 kg) though there is no standard. Appendix E of the Laws of Cricket set out more precise specifications. This rule was introduced following the Monster Bat Incident of 1771.
Bats are available in a range of sizes, with some manufacturers offering unique variations. Commonly found are children’s sizes 0 to 6, youth size Harrow and adult sizes. SH (Short Handle) is the most common adult size, whilst long handle and long blade options are also available. Children’s sizes increase in length and width as the size increase. Although most adult bats will be the maximum width permitted (4.25 inches), no generally available cricket bat is the maximum length of 38 inches, indeed very few exceed 35 inches.