A knowledge of cricket bat sizes is extremely important when it comes to selecting the right bat for yourself as the size of the bat seriously affects the way you play, how freely you can move and your ability to play shots, including defensive strokes. In this cricket bat sizes guide, I will explain in detail the various sizes of bat used by seniors, juniors, women and smaller adults.
A Brief Word on the Construction of Cricket Bats
In order to understand cricket bat sizes fully, it would be useful first to consider the elements that make up a cricket bat and a brief mention of how they are manufactured.
The blade of a cricket bat is, generally speaking, a block of wood made from English Willow. English Willow comes in a range of grades and grain qualities ranging from grade 1+ (professional) to grade 4 (amateur/beginner). The face of the blade is flat, although some have rounded edges, and the back or ‘spine’ has a ridge, which provides mass and confers power to the hitting zone – or ‘sweet spot’ – in the middle of the face.
MCC law states the maximum permissible length of a bat may be no more than 38 inches (96.5 cm) and the width no more than 4.25 inches (10.8 cm).
Typically, cricket bats are preserved with linseed oil, which also protects the hitting surface. The grade of the Willow and the grain structure determine the properties of the bat. The durability, toughness and hitting power, as well as the bat’s ‘pickup’, are determined by this.
The blade of a cricket bat is fixed to a handle, made from cane, by means of a splice. The handles are bound with a rubber grip and come in various lengths.
The Definitive Senior Bat Size – Short Handle (SH) Cricket Bats
Short Handle (SH) is the most common size of cricket bat found at senior level in both club and international cricket.
The length of an SH cricket bat handle is approx. 33 inches (85 cm). All adult cricket bats are available in this size and it is the preferred option for men of average height (5 ft 9 in – 6 ft).
You can search here for a selection of the best SH cricket bats available on Amazon.co.uk.
There are also options available for taller and shorter batsmen.
For the Taller Player – Long Blade Cricket Bats
Long blade cricket bats are available that have a regular short handle and are especially favoured by taller players. Clearly, the overall length of the bat is increased as is the playing area of the blade. Long blade bats usually have an extra inch to an inch and a half of blade, which does not seriously affect pick-up as much as long handle cricket bats do.
Long blade bats enable the batsman to stand more upright when taking guard and so are favoured by taller players and players with back problems. I would however only recommend a long blade bat if you are over 6 feet tall, have serious back problems or find short handle bats difficult to wield.
Junior players who are just about to enter adult cricket should also use a short handle bat first, even if they are over 6 feet tall. If they are 6 feet tall and are still growing then obviously long blade is an option, as is long handle.
There are also long blade cricket bats that come with a super short handle. These are for players at 5 feet 11 inches or over who prefer an increased playing surface. However, I would still recommend selecting a short handle bat unless you are prone to back problems or experience discomfort.
Another Option – Long Handle Cricket Bats
Long handle cricket bats are another great option for those over 6 feet tall. The blade of a long handle bat is the same length as a short handle bat but with a longer handle. This makes the total length of the bat about 87.5 inches.
Picking the right long handle bat is crucial as the longer handle can often affect the pick-up and balance of the bat. I would only advise you to consider a long handle bat if you are 6 feet 3 or over or have failed to find a comfortable way to use a short handle bat.
For the Smaller Player – Small Men’s or Academy Cricket Bats
Ideal for adult males of smaller stature or teenagers whose size and strength are not yet fully sufficient to use a short handle bat effectively. If you are transitioning from junior to senior cricket or you find a short handle too cumbersome to wield, you should try the academy size bat.
The academy cricket bat is sized between a full adult short handle and Harrow junior (the largest sized junior cricket bat). They have the same length blade as a full-sized cricket bat but the blade width and handle length of a Harrow bat.
For Women – Women’s Cricket Bat Sizes
Women’s cricket bats are, unfortunately, made by only a few select manufacturers. They have a Harrow handle lengt5h, full-size blade width and full blade length less half an inch. Bespoke women’s bats are also becoming more widely available and this is testimony to the increasing popularity of women’s cricket.
And for Younger Players – Junior Cricket Bat Sizes
The cricket bat size guide below shows the various sizes of bats available for junior players from small infants, right the way through to the Harrow teenager’s size and the full adult short handle.
|Cricket Bat Size Chart|
|Bat Size||Approx Age||Height of Batsmen (feet)||Bat Length (inches)||Bat Width (inches)|
|1||4-5||to 4’3″||25 3/4″||3 1/2″|
|2||6-7||4’3″ – 4’6″||27 3/4″||3 1/2″|
|3||8||4’6″ – 4’9″||28 3/4″||3 3/4″|
|4||9-11||4’9″ – 4’11”||29 3/4″||3 3/4″|
|5||10-12||4’11” – 5’2″||30 3/4″||4″|
|6||11-13||5’2″ – 5’6″||31 3/4″||4″|
|Harrow||12-14||5’6″ – 5’9″||32 3/4″||4 1/6″|
|Full SH||15+||5’9″ – 6’2″||33 1/2″||4 1/4″|
|Full LH||15+||over 6’2″||34 3/8″||4 3/4″|
This size chart is only a guide and the age groups are approximate figures. If you are buying for a junior cricket who is still growing it is essential to pick the correct size. Too big a bat early in the player’s career can hinder their movement and impair the development of skills. However, a slightly too large bat will enable the player to grow into it and you will get more mileage out of the bat.
I hope you enjoyed this cricket bat size guide and found it useful in selecting the right size bat. If you would like to know more about cricket bat sizes, cricket bats in general or just anything cricket related, just get in touch in the comments below and I will be glad to help.