A look at Keeley Cricket, Robert Pack Cricket & other brands like B3 Cricket.
Have you ever wondered why professionals tape the edges of their cricket 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 spiderman stickers and plastering them all over ones scrapbook only here its 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 cricket bat
Companies like GM
and GN have in-house bat makers who care for every need that their pros have and custom make each bat to the professional’s 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 cricket 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 Keeley 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.
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 cricket bats Adam Gilchrist crunched many a team with. Australian opener Aaron Finch who uses a New Balance bat recently posted a picture on Instagram of him picking up his bats from the b3 factory In the UK, he even hashtagged #b3.
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 manufacture in the whole world. Obviously players like Kumar Sangakkara who bats with an 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.
Slazenger is another cricket bat 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.
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.