Prophecy cricket bats are made carefully by hand with the finest quality, UK grown English willow. The process includes cutting, shaping and sanding down an English willow cleft to the desired shape, weight and pick-up.
Prophecy cricket source all of our English willow from J.S. Wright and Sons - a family run English willow merchants based in Chelmsford, England.
Crafting an English willow cricket bat is a meticulous process. Here’s a concise, step-by-step guide to the Prophecy cricket bat making process:
1. Selecting the Willow: We start by selecting a premium-grade English willow cleft. For Grade 1, we look for a good amount of straight grains and minimal blemishes.
2. Pressing the Cleft: We press the cleft to compress the wood fibres. A key part of the batmakers’ craft is getting the right balance between pressing too softly (and having a bat that lacks durability), and pressing too hard (so its performance is diminished).
3. Cutting the Cleft: We use a template to mark the desired shape on the cleft and we cut it with precision, considering the blade angle for optimal wood integrity.
4. Drawknife Shaping: We now deploy a sharpened drawknife to create a rough shape. Our focus now is on the basic outline and reducing excess wood.
5. Handle Preparation: We then apply the handle, ensuring it aligns with the overall dimensions and use a rasping tool to give our handles a semi oval shape.
6. Block Planing: We employ a range of block planes and spokeshaves to carve the wood to the exact shape, size and weight - ensuring a great pick-up and feel.
7. Sanding and Smoothing: We now use a sander to refine the bat’s surface. We progress through varying grits for a polished finish.
8. Handle Binding: We wrap the handle with twine and apply a rubber bat grip for shock absorption, grip and durability.
9. Quality Check: We assess every bat for balance, weight, and overall quality. We also assess the bat’s ping and whether it needs a further press.
10. Oil Treatment: We apply linseed oil to nourish the wood and enhance its longevity.
11. Prophecy bat stickers: We now apply our beautifully designed stickers to give our bats the signature Prophecy look.
12. Knocking In: Finally, we knock the bat in. This compresses the fibers, reducing the risk of cracks during play. We recommend further knocking in, or using an older ball before fully using your new Prophecy cricket bat.
And there we have it. All our Prophecy bats are then carefully stored, packaged in bubble wrap before being despatched to their new homes!