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The differences between Kashmir willows and English willows

English VS Kashmir Willow - The differences between Kashmir willows and English willows

Introduction : Kashmir willow and English willow cricket bats are two distinct types, differing in quality, performance, and cost. Understanding their variations is crucial for players seeking the ideal bat for their game. The differences between Kashmir willows and English willows

Composition and Origin :

  1. Kashmir Willow: Sourced from Kashmir, India, these bats are crafted from Salix Alba Caerulea wood. They are relatively more affordable due to the wood’s availability and cost-effectiveness.
  2. English Willow: Originating mainly from England, this wood comes from the Salix Alba tree’s premium variant, Salix Alba Caerulea. It’s a higher grade wood, sought after for its superior quality and performance.

Quality and Performance :

  1. Kashmir Willow: Considered durable and robust, suitable for beginners and recreational players. These bats offer decent performance and longevity but are generally less responsive than English willow bats.
  2. English Willow: Renowned for its superior quality, responsiveness, and performance on the cricket field. The wood’s unique characteristics offer better rebound, enabling powerful shots and precision in gameplay.

Grades and Manufacturing :

  1. Kashmir Willow: Usually available in fewer grades, such as Grade 1 and Grade 2. The manufacturing process involves pressing and shaping to enhance durability and performance.
  2. English Willow: Comes in various grades, from Grade 1+ being the highest quality to lower grades like Grade 4 or 5. Expert craftsmen handcraft these bats, selecting premium willow and refining the blade for optimal performance.

Cost and Affordability :

  1. Kashmir Willow: Relatively more affordable than English willow bats due to its availability and manufacturing process. Suitable for entry-level players or those on a budget.
  2. English Willow: Considered more expensive due to its superior quality and performance attributes. Preferred by professional and serious amateur players looking for top-tier equipment.

Selection Criteria :

  1. Kashmir Willow: Ideal for beginners, recreational players, or those seeking durability at a lower cost. Suitable for practice sessions and casual games.
  2. English Willow: Preferred by serious players aiming for high performance, responsiveness, and better shot-making capabilities. Ideal for competitive matches and professional cricket.

Conclusion : The choice between Kashmir willow and English willow cricket bats depends on a player’s skill level, budget, and desired performance. While Kashmir willow bats offer durability and affordability, English willow bats provide superior quality and enhanced performance, catering to the needs of serious cricketers.

1. Colour

One of the main visible differences between the two types of woods is the color. The English willow is a shade whiter than the Kashmir willow and is the reason why these bats shine more than their Kashmiri counterparts.

2. Grain texture

Another major visible difference in the willows is that the grains in the English willow are more pronounced and stand out. Grains, in the context of bats, are thin brown/black lines found on the surface of the bat. This doesn’t mean Kashmir willows are of poor quality in comparison to English willows.

The high-quality Kashmir willows have similar grains that are more pronounced and visible than a low-quality English willow. So to every child out there who is interested in buying a professional willow, please consider grain texture as one of the important factors when choosing any willow.

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3. Weight and orientation

Another noticeable factor between the two is the bat weight composition and the orientation of the bat. Kashmir willows are usually much heavier in nature than their English counterparts. The primary reason for this is that the Kashmir willows have higher density and moisture, leading to heaviness.

However, high-quality Kashmir bats have a perfect balance and the bat speed and the ping off the bat won’t be affected. Coming to the orientation, the Kashmir willow’s fiber orientations are slightly horizontally oriented while those of English willows are vertically oriented. These orientations are one of the reasons the grains are slightly more pronounced than a Kashmir willow.

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So which one to buy?

A high-quality English willow is more expensive than a high-quality Kashmir willow. Also, an English willow has a better ping off the bat and is lighter compared to a comparable quality Kashmir willow, leading to better bat speed and ping off the bat.

If one is just starting out his/her professional journey as a child, a high-quality Kashmir willow would be preferable to an English willow. A high-quality Kashmir bat can be used for professional cricket by all means if the above factors are considered while purchasing. However, with time, it’s obviously better to shift to a high-quality English willow.