R A Hughes/ January 22, 2019/ Uncategorized/ 8 comments

In the past couple of decades, cricket bat technology has come a long way. The weight of cricket bats (particularly full-size short handle and long handle bats) has increased by nearly two-fold. This is due to advances in bat manufacturing technology, enabling more mass to be incorporated into the blade. As a result, today’s batsman are hitting it out of the park like never before, which is due partly to body strength, but also an increase in the quality and mass of the bats. So the question is: what is the heaviest cricket bat used by any player?


Allowable Size

Firstly, it would be as well to take a look at what is actually allowed under the rules of the game. This is quite a complicated issue as recent rule changes have limited the size of bats in terms of dimensions but without a restriction on weight and clearly, there must be a limit as to what size bat is allowed.

In 1771, there was an incident known as the monster bat incident where a batsman attempted to use a cricket bat as wide as the wicket! The opposition players objected and the incident brought about a change in the laws of the game whereby the maximum width of the bat can be no more than four and a quarter inches. The rule stands to this day.

As of September 2017, Law 5 of the Laws of Cricket says that the length may be no more than 38 in (965 mm), the width of the face no more than 4.25 in (108 mm) and the overall depth no more than 2.64 in (67 mm), although there is no standard for bat weight.

The bat length of 38 in remains intact but now the thickness of the edges cannot be more than 1.57 in (40 mm) and the overall depth of the profile not more than 2.64 in (67 mm). Due to this crackdown on bat sizes, umpires are now given a bat gauge so that they can inspect the legality of the bat during a match.

These restrictions have caused some players who prefer a heavy bat to go down to a smaller bat size than they might otherwise use. Before the restrictions, players were able to use heavier bats than their modern day counterparts.


The Heaviest Ever

SG VS 319 (Hero Honda Sticker)

Used by legendary Indian opener Virender Sehwag, the SG VS 319 weighed in at 2.97 lbs (1.35 kg). Sehwag was able to score two triple centuries in his test career with the help of this bat, as well as an ODI double century and an IPL hundred.

Crisp cut shots and lazy but elegant cover drives were characteristic of a Sehwag innings but due in no small part to the heavy bat, which he employed to great effect to consistently hit the ball to and over the boundary.

MRF / Adidas Master Blaster

Tendulkar-batting-against-Australia

Tendulkar batting against Australia, October 2010. Image by Nev1, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The legendary Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar used to wield a bat weighing 3.25 lbs (1.47 kg), manufactured by MRF. (Later he switched to Adidas with the same weight.) The Little Master was without doubt one of the greatest batsman ever, scoring thousands of runs, a hundred centuries and terrorising some of the game’s top bowlers and his bat was his sidekick.

The Master Blaster had a very thick profile, huge edges and was also heavily arced. Tendulkar used this piece of wood to smash runs all over the park. His proficiency with such a massive piece of willow was so intimidating that some bowlers even complained about the size of his bats.

SS Zulu

The South African all-rounder Lance Klusener used a bat weighing a massive 3.375 lbs (1.53 kg). This is the SS Zulu, named after his nickname, and the heaviest bat used by any player. Klusener used this bat to smash fours and sixes almost at will. At first, the all-rounder struggled for runs, but after changing his bat, found a massive run of form in both test and ODI cricket.

The bat was a short handle bat but with a massive three-inch thick blade and very wide face, which made other bats look tiny in comparison.


The Heaviest Now

Gray Nicolls Kaboom

Aussie opener David Warner has gained a reputation as a quick-fire, explosive batsman. The large Gary Nicolls Kaboom he uses is 2.7 lbs (1.24 kg). This bat has a menacingly large profile with a generous sweet spot and colossal edges, enabling the powerful left-hander to clear the boundary time and again.

The sweet spot on Warner’s bat is smaller than the one on Chris Gayle’s (see below) but Warner uses it to great effect. He has used this bat since his inception into world cricket and never looked back.

MS Dhoni’s Spartan Bat

Weighing in at 2.8 lbs (1.27 kg) Captain Cool MS Dhoni’s bat is a big piece of willow designed for massive hitting. Crowds have witnessed many sixes being belted across the park from the face of Dhoni’s bat.

The unique power shaping of this bat is what allows the bat to have intense mass in the sweet spot area combined with a well-balanced pickup. The bat is designed for destructive but clean hitting stroke makers like Dhoni.

Spartan CG ‘The Boss’

chris-gayle-jumping-in-ipl

Chris Gayle Jumping in IPL T20 Cricket. Image by Aavtar Singh, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0, from Flickr

West Indian batsman Chris Gayle’s bat weighs 3 lbs (1.36 kg), has a thick edge, a huge sweet spot and is completely handcrafted according to Gayle’s specifications. Chris teamed up with Spartan to design a bat specifically suited to the Jamaican’s strength and brute force.

With this massive bat, Gayle was able to smash the leather ball way into the stands and became an instant success in the limited overs version of the game. He hit a 175 in a T20 match, playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore against Pune Warriors India in the Indian Premier League, went on to score more dominating innings and finished up with the orange cap for scoring the most runs in the season.

This bat is designed for an explosive opener to blast the ball over the stands in limited overs cricket. If you would like to play like Chris Gayle and think you can handle the weight of the Spartan CG ‘The Boss’, then you might like to read my bat review here.


As Things Stand Now

Chris Gayle has gone on record saying, “A big boy needs a big bat.” This is a criticism of the ICC’s clampdown on bat sizes and weights. So, while Lance Klusener was the one who used the heaviest, most massive and therefore biggest bat ever, it is only due to restrictions imposed by the ICC that modern-day player Gayle is unable to use a bat of equal size if not bigger.

I believe the powerful West Indian left-hander would probably use an even bigger piece of Willow given the option. Nevertheless, with his strength, skill and the Spartan CG ‘The Boss’ bat in his hands, Chris Gayle’s is currently the heaviest cricket bat used by any player.


Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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8 Comments

  1. Such a great read! It must take a lot of power to swing a three pound bat. Really makes you respect the strength of these athletes. I only have a few friends who play unfortunately but I’m looking forward to the next time I get together with them.

    I’m the least experienced (and skilled) player of the bunch by far, but I can impress them with my new knowledge that I’ve gained here (while swinging a much lighter bat).

    Keep up the great work! I look forward to reading more!

    1. Hi Marc,
      Indeed, swinging a 3 lb bat is hard! I’m glad you’re learning about cricket from my site and I hope you enjoy your next meet up with your friends.
      Robert.

  2. It is really amazing how equipment changes with the times, no matter what sport is being played. It makes sense that as players are growing stronger they will be able and want to use heavier bats in order to gain a power advantage. Because of size regulations on the bats, are they being made of a more dense material to gain the weight, or how is that being accomplished?

    1. Hi Steve,
      Good question. There are many ways manufacturers have improved their techniques, one of which is computer-aided design to optimise bat profiles. The wood, however, is, and always shall be, English Willow.
      Robert.

  3. Great review. The heaviest should be the one with the most power. So if you’re strong enough to wield it, that should be an advantage. I haven’t played this game before, but I will like to try it someday.
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Stephen,
      Yes. If you can wield it, it should be allowed. Restrictions aside though, 3 lbs is definitely heavy enough!
      Robert.

  4. Hello,
    Even though I know nothing about this sport, I found this article very interesting. I would think that you could do better with a lighter weight bat, but I guess I’m just weak.
    I think you did a great job explaining the different bats and how they helped certain players. I may do a little more research about this game.
    Is it similar to the way you play baseball?
    Thanks,
    Devara

    1. Hi Devara,
      You should use whatever bat is comfortable for you.
      Baseball and cricket have many similarities. Most people who like one of them usually end up enjoying the other one as well.
      Robert.

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