Kashmir bats are very much derided within the cricket community here in the UK, being written off as being completely useless. When you start to dig around doing some research you'll find people saying that they're only any good for playing cricket with plastic balls or tennis balls. You'll find plenty of people ready to slag them off and say that they are totally useless - the internet is full of it. These people tend to be half decent batsmen, who have the ability to strike the ball readily and yes it would be dumb if they opted to spend £30 on a cricket bat because for them Kashmir bats would not be fit for purpose. For this type of player the kind of bat they'd be looking at using would be the type you'll find here
But what about the rest of us...
- Bowlers who bat at No.10 or 11
- Kids that have just started and are likely to give up after weeks or a season
- Blokes that don't take the game seriously and don't want to invest in an expensive bat
- People on a tight budget
So if like me you get to bat once every 4 games and you're generally out in the middle 'Batting' for a matter of a few overs Kashmir makes a lot of sense.
Knocking Kashmir bats in
Again there's a load of stuff on the internet saying that you shouldn't do this, but having owned several Kashmir bats - some of which have been used without knocking them in and others that have, I'm very much of the opinion that they should be knocked in and here's my advice and observations on the process.
Here's an interesting link with some information about cricket bats and their history. There's also a list of blokes that make handmade bespoke cricket bats, check it out.
Interesting video on making Kippax bats in the UK
*Caveat. I've picked up a bat made of good quality English Willow for free and I've been using it now for a couple of years and I have to say there is a massive difference between the Kashmir bats this bat. This bat feels balanced, it's about the same weight as the Kashmir bats I've used, but it feels significantly lighter. In addition, the quality of the wood means that the middle works, the ball pings from the middle and the ball travels a lot further with mush less effort. The bat doesn't rattle in the hands in the same way that the Kashmir bat does and to be honest I feel like my batting has improved because of the bat - it feel like it works properly. But, I'm looking to improve my batting and I'm approaching it more seriously and I would say that if you have a kid that does show flare with a bat and some natural ability quite quickly, the move from a Kashmir bat to a English Willow bat might make a significant difference. If you are looking for a good quality bat on a budget consider this bloke here and listen to the case he puts for 'Butterfly Willow' bats.