Every year a new batch of cricket bats get released into the market, and plenty of brands are trying to create a more affordable option for their customers. We’re running down some of the best cheap cricket bats for 2023 in this guide, meaning you can get plenty of quality without spending huge sums of cash.
Sadly, bats can be incredibly expensive. If you’re just looking for a cricket bat to help you out on the village cricket pitches in your region, you probably don’t have any real reason to drop £600 on a bat, so what are your alternatives?
Fortunately, there are some great cheap bats for you to consider.
Why Are Most Bats Expensive?
Before we dive into the bats, it helps to understand a bit of the economics that goes into cricket bats. £500-600 seems really pricey, we know.
A lot of this comes down to the insistence on English Willow for making the top bats. English Willow has a reputation of being excellent for cricket bats, it is durable and a high grade willow can provide you with a sturdy accomplice for years to come. English Willow is not in particularly abundant supply.
Also, a lot of the bats are made in India and then imported back to the UK. When you pay £500 for a bat, you may be paying for a piece of wood that has been taken to and from India first.
Combine this with the fact that a lot of cricket companies are paying a lot of money endorsing the pros, and the costs rack up and get passed onto the consumer.
Kashmir Willow (the alternative) is found on a lot of the more affordable options including the Village Cricket Bat. This willow is exactly the same, the Salix Alba species, but grown in India it is slightly denser and darker due to the conditions it is grown in. This type of bat was used at times by Sachin Tendulkar, and it is much more affordable.
The Village Cricket Bat
Buy direct from Village Cricket Co. – £97
The Village Cricket Bat is designed to be used by those who play cricket at an amateur level. If you’re not making money by playing cricket, then spending £500 on a bat might seem excessive, so having an option under £100 is a huge relief.
That is exactly what the Village Cricket Bat is, and it doesn’t sacrifice any quality either. The Kashmir Willow has incredibly strong properties and they make all of the bats out of high grade wood, which means they are incredibly durable and may even last longer than English Willow.
The bat is available in all of the mainstream sizes. Adults can buy the bat in either SH (short handle) or LH (long handle) designs. LH designs are usually only used by people who are taller. If you’re 6’3” or taller this can be a great option to help you make use of your long levers.
The SH bat is the most popular, but they also make the Harrow size as well as all junior sizes of cricket bat.
The Village Cricket Bat has a low middle, which is perfect for English conditions and the low bounce a lot of English pitches offer. It can help you with your pickup and generating more power.
With a medium weight, the bat is still able to assist powerful players hitting those big boundaries, as well as helping the sort of touch players who rely more on their skill to access the ball and play a variety of different shots.
The bat comes already knocked in, so as soon as it arrives at your front door, it’s ready to take to the nets, and you don’t have to spend hours going through the arduous knocking in process.
The bat is affordable, reliable, and does the job for a fraction of the cost of many of the alternatives.
Gunn & Moore Prima Signature Cricket Bat
RRP £184 – Buy on Cricket Direct
Some of the huge brands in the world of cricket, such as Gunn & Moore, are also getting in on the act of producing affordable bats. Not everybody can afford to buy the high-end products in their range, so it makes sense that they would have a budget range too.
It quickly becomes pretty clear that you’re not playing with a hugely expensive bat, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t get a quality bat, with a lot of the cool design features and functions of the more pricey models.
It has an F4.5 face profile and shortened L540 blade, which gives a fairly large sweet spot and allows players to generate that extra bit of power.
With big, heavy edges along the blade, even those of us who can’t middle it every time still have a chance of the ball going further than just into the hands of one of the slips (if you’re really lucky).
There’s also a concave back and a low swell position, so this bat is good for the aggressive, front foot player who wants to score runs quickly.
The willow isn’t always the highest grade, so don’t expect perfection, but this is not a surprise as the bat has been made for affordability. The design is definitely great for those who want to be able to play cricket on the attack, but you may not get year after year of use from this bat.
It’s nice to be able to get a bat from one of the big brands that doesn’t have an eye watering price, but it is still around double the cost of some of the Salix Alba bats, and around £90 more than the Village Cricket Bat.
Newbery N Series 2.0
Newbery is a small independent brand making some very good cricket bats out of their UK base.
The N Series 2.0 relies on grade 3 willow, but if you are happy to go with a wood that has a few more blemishes then you can still enjoy some very fine craftsmanship with this model of bat.
You will notice pretty quickly that this bat has an awesome design. Well, in fact, it has six awesome designs and you can choose between them. The N Series entry level bat is made from grade 4 willow, so this is a step up from that, and gives the extra quality as a result.
It’s made with a mid to high sweet spot, which suits certain types of players, and pitches with plenty of bounce. It’s a relatively lightweight bat, too, and the curve helps to generate power in spite of a really light weight design.
At just under £200, it isn’t the cheapest model on the list, but the craftsmanship is really impressive. If you don’t mind going down the grades in English Willow this can be a great option.
Gray-Nicolls Alpha Gen 1.0 200 Cricket Bat
RRP £130 – Buy from Cricket Direct
Another example of the big brands trying to cater for the cheaper end of the market, this time it’s Gray-Nicolls, one of the biggest brands in the whole of cricket. The Alpha Gen 1.0 is a brand new cheap bat for 2023 which is designed for the cricketer on a budget, and it does a decent job of helping amateur cricketers with their pickup.
It’s got a very large spine and wide, chunky edges, which means that the ball can travel off the bat, and if you hit the rounded “power curve face” it can really fly.
The profile of the bat means it has a high middle, and this is good for certain styles of play, though many people still prefer the low middle for the English conditions.
If you really want the iconic Gray-Nicolls logo in your kit bag then this can be a good option, but truthfully, you can probably find a better bat for the money if you switch to Kashmir Willow.
That said, we love the pickup and you can tell this is a bat that has been designed to a high degree of accuracy from a brand that can’t risk its reputation by starting to release shoddy bats.
So there we have it, there are a few different approaches that people can take to buying cricket bats. Most cheap bats in 2023 either have Kashmir Willow, which still offers lots of durability and quality, or go to the lower grades of English Willow to seek cheaper materials.
Both approaches can work, but it is all about ensuring that you still end up with a bat you can rely on when Saturday’s match comes around, rather than risking a broken bat as well as a damaged ego when you are out for that golden duck.