The rundown of the best bats you can buy this year.
Y’all know the drill by now. The annual hootenanny that is the All Out Cricket Gear Test has unearthed the best bat of the year.
As ever, it was all about those bats (you can see our pads and gloves winners here). We took 40 of the sexiest new sticks along to HQ, making every effort to conceal their identity. Unbranded, white-handled – even the toe-guards were covered up – all done to ensure the test remained as impartial as possible.
Waiting for us at Lord’s was our six-strong team of ex-pros and competition winners, gloved-up and ready to hit. Three hours of intense leather-bashing later, we had our results, and here they are.
Legendary southpaw with England and Surrey turned ECB’s lead batting coach; a concerned-about-handle-width kind of guy
Epic hitter who twice hit 16 sixes in an innings in a professional match – surely the coolest world record of all time. Now cricket master at Royal Hospital School in Ipswich
Stylish run-wrangler for Warwickshire and England’s ODI side who’s now Warwickshire’s first-team coach
Top-order touch player for Kent and England who hung up the gloves last year when it became clear he was destined for punditry greatness
Batsman with Sibton Park CC; made 70 in the National Village Cup final at Lord’s in 2016, not that he likes to talk about it
Meaty Sibton Park stalwart and self-confessed bat loonie who knows his duckbill from his offset profile
Testers have a good hit with each and every bat from a 40-strong field (all unbranded), giving them a score in three categories:
1) Look/first impressions (Look, shape, size, edges, grain) – mark out of 5
2) Pick-up/feel (Feel, balance on first handling) – mark out of 5
3) Performance (How well does it hit?) – mark out of 10.
All the scores of all the testers are added up and given a total out of 120 (six testers all marking out of 20). That’s then converted into a percentage (easier to digest) to produce the AOC Gear Test Rating.
We’ve also included full weight and size info, plus other vital stats and score breakdowns to keep you as informed as possible.
If you want to read the full 2017 Gear Test results and reviews in hard copy, you can buy issue 150 of our magazine – where they first appeared – here.
Our top 20 in full.