Spartan Cricket

Spartan Cricket

There are not many cricket brands that have entered the cricket brand market with as much as a bang as Kunal Sharma and his Spartan Brand of Cricket bats.

As much as Spartan has put out a quality line of cricket bats, they have also signed some of the most popular faces on the cricketing planet to pump up their brand. Players like Chris Gayle and Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Michael Clarke.

Clarke was always an exponent of Slazenger, always flaunting the latest bat that Slazenger had to flaunt. He then went for a test match or two where his bat was sponsorless and he then emerged on the other end wielding a Spartan Cricket Bat. This is not dissimilar to a another Australian captain, Steve Waugh. Steve Waugh was a Gunn & Moore loyal, wielding most bats they had to offer from the early days of the Diamond. Waugh then went for a few matches with a blank cricket bat and then emerged using an MRF cricket bat.

Spartan to their credit have produced a line of very fine cricket bats. Their bats have a square toe which is to the liking of some cricketers. There is no doubt that Sharma and his Spartan brand will continue to trailblaze when it comes to cricket equipment. The question though is not so much what are they going to come out with next but rather which international player are they going to nab next?

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First Cricket Head Protection/Helmet

First Cricket Head Protection/Helmet

It is hard to call the first piece of protective head gear in cricket a helmet, but it was an innovative piece of equipment nonetheless. It was a 3-peaked cap worn by Middlesex cricketer Patsy Hendren.

The year was 1933 and Harold Larwood was at his ferocious best. He was instilling fear in the hearts and minds of the batsmen who had to face up to him. Patsy Hendren came up with a Sherlock Holmes style cap. The cap had three flaps and the goal of the cap that instead of the ball smashing into the batsman’s head it would be deflected away without causing harm.
It was a valiant effort but the problems with Patsy’s helmet were inherent to the naked eye. While it was a great effort for the glancing blow, it did little to combat a blow that was headed flush for the batsman’s head.
There is no historical record of whether Hendren ever received a blow to his self made head protection yet it will always go down in history as the first piece of cricket head protection ever worn.
The helmet has evolved a great deal since then and many believe that it is still a work in progress, as new helmets like the Masuri Vision Series strongly suggest.
To see more about new cricket helmets visit the Hammer cricket website. Click Here.

Affinity Cricket Bats

Affinity Cricket Bats

The bespoke cricket bat is becoming a buzz word in the cricket gear world. As a huge movement pulls away from the inferior bulk machine made cricket bats, brands like Affinity Cricket and Hammer Cricket are popping up with fantastically crafted cricket bats. These bats fill the void of superbly handcrafted cricket bats and give consumers far more options in terms of buying a high quality hand crafted cricket bat.

The Affinity cricket range includes bats with various specifications that are made to suit various playing styles and pitch conditions. The Affinity Carbine and the Affinity Spectre cricket bats are two fantastically crafted cricket bats. The weight distribution is superb and thought gone into crafting these great cricket bats is immense. Weights are precise and the balance is also great. The willow is of the highest quality and cricket lovers can really get their hands on a high end bespoke boutique cricket bat at a fraction of the price of what it may normally cost.
Brands such as Affinity cricket is definitely a step towards where the future of cricket bat buying and making is heading. Consumers will look out for these hand crafted bats that are made with care and due diligence before purchasing a generic machine made bat, no matter the cricket brand name.

Hammer PRO White Cricket Balls

Hammer PRO White Cricket Balls

People have always wondered, if baseballs and cricket balls are so similar then why are cricket balls so expensive and baseballs are relatively cheap? Here is the Hammer pro white cricket ball.

Hammer pro cricket ball

 

IMG 3393 300x300 Hammer PRO White Cricket Balls

Hammer pro white cricket ball

Firstly, it is worthwhile noting that cricket balls and baseballs are very different. Cricket balls have to endure much longer duration of play then baseballs. All the while, a cricket ball cannot show signs of splitting or capitulation as changing of the ball is a rarity in cricket.
The Hammer PRO White Cricket Balls is a huge stride towards bringing down the prices of quality cricket balls. A cheap cricket ball, usually breaks and shows early signs of wear and tear. This is not the case when it comes to quality cricket balls. This is where the Hammer PRO White Cricket Ball really has a huge advantage, in that, it is made of some high quality materials and shows great signs of durability but is a fraction of the price of other cricket balls of the same quality.
This has been a general trend with Hammer Cricket since their inception, they have been producing cricket gear of the highest quality at a fraction of the price of other brand cricket equipment of the same quality.

Its ODI Cricket Season.

Its ODI Cricket Season.

What was the best ODI ever played?

Edgbaston 1999 vs. Bullring 438

It was the 1483rd one day international; it was called the best ever. 866 matches later there came along another that almost unanimously dethroned it. The combatants were the same. The green and gold of South Africa versus the gold and green of Australia. Survivors from the previous battle were few. Jacques Kallis, Mark Boucher and Herschelle Gibbs for South Africa. Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist for Australia.

For South Africans we are talking about the 1999 highway robbery at Edgbaston and the 438 game. For Australians we are talking about the victory at Edgbaston and the 434 game.

If Cricket himself, would have to choose his ambassador of the One-Day game which of these two epic battles would he choose? An ambassador that would not only speak for those who salivate over a technically correct forward defensive, but rather one who would enthrall and entertain the masses.

 

The Highveld Autumn run-fest was for all practical purposes a double T20 game rolled into one. Fans were enamored with the crash, bang and boom of it all. Hard hats in the stands were no joke as commentators went scurrying for their best clichés to report the six storm.

Ricky Ponting continued where he left off against India in the final of 2003, as he made the bowlers look like Playstation’s graphically designed bowlers on easy mode. The bowlers would have been excused for discontinuing their follow throughs to take shelter behind the umpire, while blocking their ears in preparation for the next six bomb to be hit. And there was an immediate repeat to follow, Herschelle Gibbs picked up the console where Ponting had left it and smashed the helpless bowlers to all parts. Cautious or over-cautious batting in the middle overs from Kallis and Boucher set-up a thrilling finish. The bowlers for all practical purposes could have been machines, Mick Lewis becoming the most expensive machine in ODI cricket. There were many headliners that day. 872 runs, two mammoth centuries and a bull-ring that became a bowler abattoir.

The “Donald-Klusener mix-up game” did not start at the toss on the 17th of June 1999. It started on the 13th of June at Headingley. In hindsight it ended in Leeds for South Africa too.

With 271 on the board, South Africa had Australia at 48/3 with a run-out and two wickets for Steve Elworthy. As a mistimed clip from Steve Waugh on 56 hit the palms of Herschelle Gibbs, the game and the top of the Super Six table was seemingly the South Africans’. But that was not to be, Gibbs went for his nonchalant flick over the shoulder, his hand brushing his thigh sending the ball to the ground before the catch was completed. Waugh added a “ you dropped the trophy” comment and 64 to his score. Tom Moody did the honors of blasting the ball over cover thereby taking the game and the superior standing on the Super Six table. The win at Headingley for Australia meant that the tie at Edgbaston was enough for a Final’s berth at Lords.

A tie would have been enough, a tie was not what was expected and then again a tie was a befitting result.

Australia batted first, there was a 5-for for Shaun Pollock, four ducks, four catches by the wicket keeper and two fifties. A score of 213 looked challenging. The South African innings had three run outs, the last of which is framed and displayed in many an Australian sports bar. There were also four wickets and a Man of the Match for Shane Warne, whose ball to dismiss Herschelle Gibbs was acclaimed as a close second best to “Mike Gatting’s Ball of the Century”.

Both 213s together would have been a losing score in 2006 at the Wanderers, and yet there was something so distinctly cricket about Edgbaston that would make it my firm favorite for Cricket’s One-Day ambassador.

Not long ago, about two years ago, there was an immature public, still drunk on the relatively new exploits of T20 cricket. 12th men would lumber out with bigger and more brutal looking bats for the likes of Justin Kemp who would wow the crowd as they assaulted the bowling. The IPL was deemed as a cricket Messiah, he had come to save the game from well timed strokes and intended to replace them with euphoria-inducing top edges and wild bludgeons across the line. There was a distinct feeling amongst fans that this was the way forward.

It seems as if he was a false Messiah because the game of cricket is experiencing a metamorphosis. The battles to follow are those of Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel against James Anderson and Stuart Broad, and the pitch curators are expected to deliver for them. KP has received his mention too, but the hubbub is about the swinging ball.

Double centuries for Kumar Sangakarra and other huge scores in a match and the talk of the fans is about a lifeless pitch that ought to be buried.

A more mature cricketing public is steering the game away from 120 balls of ugly slogging.  A more astute cricketing public is once again licking their lips at the sight of bowler friendly pitches. A public which encourages tweaking the One Day game as opposed to replacing it.

Swing bowling and bowlers are getting standing ovations; flat track bully batsmen are getting a mere warm applause. Some say it’s a new found thirst for wickets, other say it is T20 overkill, I say it’s an appreciation for a basic cricketing principle.

The principle that the game is a battle between the brains and brawn of batsmen and bowlers, and not that the game is a battle between two sets of batsmen. A game between bat and ball ought to have equal platforms for batsmen and bowlers to display their immense skill. These platforms are  finally taking shape.

This is a move that will once again see curators preparing pitches to the strengths of a bowling attack. Many may chatter about the new fad of four day Test matches, but this is an age where fans want to see the batsmen work for their runs. Three slips and two gullies is once again as appealing as a boundary rider retrieving the ball from the stands.

All of this bodes well for a healthy game of cricket. All of this bodes well for a proper game of cricket. A cricket where an IPL is a light dessert after serious servings of Test and ODI cricket. A cricket and his supporters that will once again deem Edgbaston 1999 the best ODI ever played.

This article sponsored by www.cricketstoreonline.com

Who makes their cricket bats?

Who makes their cricket bats?

Have you ever wondered why professionals tape the edges of their bats? Or don’t you ever think to yourself that surely Virender Sehwag’s Honda cricket bat was not made by a car company?

The answer to such questions is not such a secret. In different countries around the world there are privately owned cricket bat factories which custom make bats to the required specifications of professionals and amateurs alike. Once the bat has been designed and fitted the player just has to add the stickers of his sponsors and that’s that. It’s as simple as buying spider man stickers and plastering them all over ones scrapbook only here it’s professionals who are being paid to use a bat with a cricket company’s sticker on it.
This being said we must state that this is a minority of cricketers and the majority of cricketers do in fact use a bat manufactured by the company whose stickers are pasted on the bat.
Companies like GM and GN have in house bat makers who care for every need that their pro’s have and custom make each bat to the professionals needs.
We can go through various countries and various cricketers to determine where in fact their bats are actually made.
 In the UK there are bats that are made by Robert Pack who is responsible for many of these “private label cricket bats” in the UK. Notably in England there is an underground network of tunnels perhaps the ‘corridors of uncertainty’ commentators always speak about that are used to smuggle cricket bats stemming from a small barn owned by Tim Keely who producers bats made of the finest willow specified to the customers, who are generally famous professional cricketers, personal needs. A certain Jacques Henry Kallis was rumored to love a Keely made cricket bat as do many South Africans when they tour English shores. In an article published last year it was stated publicly that the great Brian Lara actually called Mr Keeley to hand make him a bat.
Screen Shot 2014 08 11 at 8.18.41 AM 300x300 Who makes their cricket bats?
Robert Pack cricket bat making video.

In Australia a gentleman by the name of Julian Millichamp is rumored to manufacture bats for the majority of the Australian national team. He is also the person who was responsible for producing those awesome Puma bats Adam Gilchrist crunched many a team with. Australian opener Aaron Finch who uses a New Ballance bat recently posted a picture on Instagram of him picking up his bats from the b3 factory In the UK, he even hash tagged #b3. In New Zealand bats are produced by master bat maker James Laver. Laver and Wood cricket bats are used by many professionals. Damien Martyn is rumored to have used a Laver and Wood for the bulk of his career. James Laver is unique in that he does not spare the choicest of willow for anyone. If you are willing to pay the price for his quality pod shaving expertise, you will get a cricket bat as good as the professionals. These bats are now available from cricketstoreonline.com.
Screen Shot 2014 08 11 at 8.35.38 AM 300x300 Who makes their cricket bats?
Moving on to India which is most likely to provide bats to the rest of the sub-continent. SS and SG are two of the largest bat manufactures in the whole world. Obviously players like Kumar Sangakkara who bats with a SS use bats manufactured by SS too. But SS also produce bats for other brands and other individual players while those players paste their own stickers on it. Those of you who are observant will notice that on all SS bats there is the symbol SS on the edge of the bat. This could possibly be the tape that all of us wonder about such as the tape seen to be used by AB De Villiers in the most recent IPL. SG is also a major manufacturer who apparently make bats for Kookaburra who no longer produce their own bats.
AB Who makes their cricket bats?

Slazenger is another cricket company who no longer produce bats. The famous Duncan Fearnley which Ian Botham wielded made the 2013 Slazenger V12 Limited Edition bats. The rest of Slazenger bats are now produced by FC Shondi. The Hunts County cricket bat which was famously used by Darryl Cullinan is no longer seen on the international circuit. This however does not mean they are not still around, they are one of the main manufacturers for large companies around the cricketing world.

slazenger 300x300 Who makes their cricket bats?

After making all these discoveries I’m left with an unanswered question. If this is the case where bats are not produced by the companies that we perceive to be making them, then how long until other brands start catching on? I’m looking forward to the day where Samsung and Apple take their battle to the cricket field.
To get your very own custom made bat, just click here.

Lazer cricket bats

Lazer cricket bats

Jacques Kallis officially called it time on his entire cricket career last week. He was the best all round cricketer of the generation. A small piece of cricket trivia is that although he used a Slazenger cricket bat for the majority of his career, Jacques Kallis started his career using a Lazer Cricket Bat.

Lazer cricket bats were hugely popular in South Africa around the time of re-admission to international cricket and the period just after. Jimmy Cook and Clive Rice both batted with Lazer cricket bats.
Of late the Lazer cricket bat has been shrouded in a slight bit of infamy too. As it was a Lazer Cricket Bat that Oscar Pistorius used to hack down the bathroom door after fatally shooting Reeva Steenkamp. It is ironic that in all their history, the most air time and coverage the Lazer cricket bat was not from an international cricket player but from a fallen athletics star.
There are some cricket bats still being produced in South Africa like the B&S cricket bat and also more recently the DP collection of cricket bats.
South African cricket fans will always fondly remember the Lazer cricket bat and Lazer cricket equipment. The yellow, the blue with a few bright red cherries on the face, that was the envy of many cricket playing South African boys.
For more information on top of the line, and cheap cricket bats Click Here.

The Quadruple Spine Cricket Bat. Real or Hoax

The Quad Spine Cricket Bat. Real or Hoax

The Quadruple Spine Cricket Bat

 
Hammer Cricket has been designing top of the line cricket bats and now they are on the cusp of launching something which may be simply revolutionary, a quadruple spine cricket bat. That’s right a bat with four spines.
The Idea
 
The idea behind the bat is quite simple and quite genius in its simplicity. Cricket players know that where the spine is located is where the absolute sweetest part of the bat is, the sweet spot. Therefore by having four spines on the cricket bat, the makers are able to make the sweet spot on the bat, four times wider than a regular cricket bat.
 
There have been bats in the past like the Gray Nicolls Scoop and the Gray Nicolls Dynadrive and the V1200 dual spine cricket bat. These bats proved hugely successful by simply playing around with the spine. If one spine is good and two spines  are even better, than a bat with four spines is bound to be one of the best of all.
The Weight
 
Many may be wondering, if the bat is going to have so many spines, is it not going to make the bat unbearably heavy? The answer is simply, no. These bats are expertly crafted, weights will be available from 2.8 to albs.  The design on the bat is so sound and effective that the quadruple spine bat could even be crafted in the lighter junior sizes.
Weight Distribution
 
Ok, so maybe the weight will be the same but surely I am going to struggle with the balance and weight distribution of this bat. Again, the answer is no. The weight distribution is even throughout the blade.
The Sweetspot
 
The quadruple spine cricket bat is all about the sweetspot. The sweetspot on this bat is huge. It is like having four overlapping sweetspots on a single bat. This means that the sweetspot is elongated and broadened. This bat is virtually one big sweet spot.
Quadruple spine cricket bat, welcome to the cricket bat revolution.
 The Quadruple Spine Cricket Bat. Real or Hoax  The Quadruple Spine Cricket Bat. Real or Hoax

Laver & Wood Cricket bats

Laver & Wood Cricket bats

Everything nowadays is about bespoke and custom made and tailor made. From your suits and ties to the trimmings of your vehicles and everything in between, there is a distinct luxury about having something custom made for you.

The same is true when it comes to your cricket bat. There are plenty of great cricket bats on the shelf, like top of the range GM’s or a top of the range Kookaburra or even a great piece of willow from an up and coming brand like Hammer Cricket. But still in all, there is something luxurious, opulent and downright dreamy about getting a bat custom made for you.
There is no better custom made bat than the Laver and Wood Reserve Cricket Bat. Customize where you want the sweet spot. Do you love the front foot or do you prefer the back foot? Well why not make a bat that suits those preferences. The best thing about the Laver and Wood Reserve Cricket Bat and all Laver and Wood cricket bats for that matter is that James Laver does not compromise one iota on the materials that he uses for his cricket bats. The willow is the cream of the forest, absolutely pristine player grade willow. The cane for the handle and everything in between is absolutely top quality.
Like most custom made items, these bats suit their owners perfectly. Minimal fuss and great character but the added benefit of a Laver and Wood cricket bat is that these bats are built to last. If treated properly these bats can last well over a decade. Proper care means buying a cover for it but more importantly it means ensuring that the bat is ready for play before it faces even one ball. Ask the experts at Hammer Cricket and they can tell you exactly what needs to take place.
There is scantly a better cricket bat on the market than the Laver and Wood Reserve Cricket Bat.
To purchase a brand new Laver & Wood cricket bat click here

When you need more information.