Cricket Helmets

Cricket Helmets

Cricket helmets have become one the most important parts of any cricketers kit bag.

Cricket is an age old game and so it’s hard to imagine how for so many years this essential piece of cricket equipment simply didn’t exist. As someone that played cricket at school during the 1980’s I never used a cricket helmet and yet with a son that’s now 14, I would never let him bat without one.

In recent years the whole manufacturing and more importantly the design process of cricket helmets has undergone a complete transformation.

Whilst many leading brands had a range of batting cricket helmets on the market, it was becoming apparent that the designs available were fundamentally flawed and the batsmen was still exposed to unacceptable levels of risk and harm from fast paced deliveries and even miscued shots off the bat. Extensive tests were done and new standards set.

As a result of these new standards, all the big name brands had to stop making cricket helmets and were instead sent back to the drawing board to completely redesign every aspect of the helmets construction, shape, manufacturing process and performance levels. Once redesigned, each manufacturer was asked to submit the prototype’s to the testing laboratory, where each helmet was put through the paces. Those that passed the tests were brought to market, those that didn’t had to correct those shortcomings, as there was to be no shortcut solution.

Whether it was…Masuri, Gray Nicolls, Gunn and Moore, Kookaburra, Shrey, Ayrtek, or Albion, each brand had to prove its worth in order to come back into the marketplace and supply cricket helmets.

Strangely it was two of the non-specialist cricket helmet brands, GM and Gray Nicolls that were amongst the first to release an approved cricket helmet to the marketplace. Needless to say sales went through the roof and we simply couldn’t get enough. Word soon spread to cricketers that a safe and fully approved helmet was now available. So common sense prevailed and the customers came out in droves to purchase one of the new approved cricket helmets.

What everyone was really waiting for though, was the Masuri cricket helmet range and once it was released everyone saw that it was certainly worth the wait. The Masuri cricket helmet range was revolutionary. First of all it was to be manufactured in the UK, something no other brand had ever done before.

Masuri went all out to produce a cricket helmet that was extremely advanced in terms of technology and therefore in terms of safety too.

The Halo system ensured an extremely rigid and safe peak area to the helmet, which was a big criticism of various brands before the approval process. Masuri also released two versions in the Elite and Test series and they soon became the preferred choice for most international batsmen around the world.

Shrey cricket helmets also came into the marketplace. As a former manufacturers of the Masuri helmets, rather than lose all their business with the decision of Masuri to manufacture in England, they decided to bring out a new helmet and offering and this move proved to be a great success.

As we come into the new season the Masuri range has expanded even more with both lower priced and medium priced models entering the fray. The range has improved in terms of quality and finish and with the Original Series MKII, we have Masuri tradition with the latest safety standards.

Gray Nicolls continue with their best selling Atomic and Test Opener models which are built perfectly and offer fantastic value for money. The Gray Nicolls helmets are known for thier comfort as well as all round protection. A firm favourite amongst our junior customers who love the abundance of padding that makes them amongst the most comfortable on the market.

GM continue with the Geo and Purist models and Kookaburra offer some fantastic helmets great prices in the 800 and 400 models.

As one of the most important pieces of anyone’s kit bag the cricket helmet has finally been given the safety features it needed. As a compulsory piece of kit for all juniors, there is now a bigger choice than ever to all cricketers. With prices starting from under £40 for a full approved model, its no longer an expensive luxury and with all the leading brands now introducing affordable stemguards into thier ranges, all round protection is available to all ages.

The Evolution of Cricket and the Introduction of Technology

The roots of Cricket trace back to the 16th century and since then, the game of glorious uncertainties as we know it, has spread to cover 3 formats ranging from 5 Day tests, to the the exciting 50 over format one dayers and the swashbuckling 20 over format, where a game can change within 1 over. While the number of full members had still not reached double digits; the game has cast its wings across various countries that play under the associate nations tag.

Cricket is a true test of mind, skill and fitness in equal measure, be it over a test match or the limited overs versions of the game, not only for the players but for the umpires as well, the stakes are higher than ever before with T20 franchise based cricket with billions of pounds at stake and hence getting the right decisions is imperative, television has taken the game to a new level garnering a large global audience and with the advent of the internet, a live game can be viewed across a range of portable devices.

With so much riding on each game, technology has paid a huge role in making sure cricket as a sport has captured the imagination and allured the global audience. Although cricket and the powers to be have not always been proactively drawn towards adopting technology, especially when compared to other sports like tennis or athletics to name a few. While the purists still continue to have a sceptical view on the use of technology, the demands of the viewers seems to have forced their hand.

The first real injection of technology and a departure from tradition came with dawn of World Series Cricket by Kerry Packer in 1977, the Australian television magnet who married the sport with his television business and since then the game has just gotten bigger and bigger and more colourful to boot.
It was in the 1990’s that television replay’s were introduced to adjudicate on run-outs, Sachin Tendulkar being the first batsmen to have waited and walked on the dreaded red light back in the day.
The system gradually evolved from merely a square shaped signal to the third umpire to a full-fledged Decision Review System or DRS as it is called. After being initialled tested out in 2008 during an India Srilanka test match; the system came into the game officially when the International Cricket Council launched it in the New Zealand Pakistan test series.

The entire process encapsulated how technology has made firm strides in the game and is certainly here to stay. DRS use’s various tools like square cameras to check the validity of the ball bowled and ensure it’s a legal delivery, Snickometer confirms if the bat made contact with the ball at any stage which could be decisive in adjudicating a leg before decision or a catch thus graphically depicting the noise, once that’s ascertained Hawkeye comes in to predict the probable path of the ball and whether it would hit the batsmen in line with the stumps and whether the ball is hitting the stumps of going above.
Hawkeye was developed by Paul Hawkins in the United Kingdom and has been extensively used in Tennis, Rugby, Badminton and Volleyball before its full fledged foray into Cricket. It has had it fair share of controversy and acceptance across all quarters has been slow but with constant upgrades it now closure to a full proof system as compared to the past where admittedly there were issues that needed to be addressed.

Benefits of hawk-eye are not merely restricted to getting the right decisions on the field of play but also help batsmen and bowlers alike in analysing their performances and helping them over coming technical deficiencies.

A further upgrade on Snicko, is Hot Spot where infrared technology is used to ascertain the exact spot the ball hits the bat if at all hence critical part of DRS. Hot Spot also is a useful analysis tool for commentators to substantiate the claim on a batsmen hitting the ball on sweet spot of the bat for a towering six or flourishing drive.

While technically the Hot Spot and Snicko are competitors, but what sets Hot Spot apart is its ability to show where the bat has struck unlike the Snicko where being a sound detecting system the results could be faulty as well since the sound could be bat hitting the pad instead of the bat, however using them both in tandem produces conclusive results which is ultimately what the players and fans want.

While these tools have helped umpires immensely to make the right decision on field, some other gadgets have brought in a bit of panache to the game, improving its quality to the viewer immensely.
The Super Slow motion just enhances the visual appeal of the Hot Spot as well as the overall game considering the frantic speed at which it is played.

The Speed gun for example gets crowds going when a fast bowler is on song and coming in full tilt and works well in terms of variations like recording data and analysing the slower ball and speed variations for a bowler. To make sure the spinners don’t feel left out, the Ball Revs tracker as the name suggest calculated the extent of spin depending on revs imparted.

The Stump camera and Stump mic have added a sense of being actually on the pitch for a viewer whether at the ground or in the comforts of their home, and in some instances lent an ear to some very interesting banter or mind games that go on between the batsmen and bowler as well as close-in fielders.
Relatively new inventions into the game have been the LED Bails and Spider Cam, where in case of the LED bails, the bail glows when the ball strikes the wickets and bail comes out its groove which also aids in getting those close stumping and run outs decisions right.

The spider cam is more from an enhanced visual delight perspective for the view at home and gives a unique insight into field placing and catching in particular, some players though call it a distraction and are not happy when a well timed six is obstructed in its patch with the Spider web.
Technology has not merely impacted the way the game is played on the field but also for its viewers where the thirst for TRP’s has made the game more accessible over devises like a mobile phone or tablet through mobile applications.

The evolution from being a game prone to human error and waiting for the 10pm news to know the result and key highlights, cricket has moved swiftly and in no less measure has technology been a critical clog in its wheel catapulting it to a world-wide audience and the way forward can only be more of the same please.

Gray-Nicolls Cricket Bats – A Review (March) 2017

When you think about cricket bats and some of the most famous brands available, undoubtedly the first name that usually springs to mind is Gray Nicolls. An age old company that is still family owned and based in Robertsbridge, Gray Nicolls produce some of the finest quality cricket bats to some of the worlds best players.


One of the most expensive cricket bats currently available is the Legend. With its

  • engraved styling
  • narrow grains
  • superb quality

the Gray Nicolls Legend is at the pinnacle of all cricket bat models. Whilst others have tried to imitate the Legend, the model still stands out on its own as the very best available.
Drive down to Robertsbridge and from what looks to be simple place from the outside is actually home to a wealth of quality, knowledge and expertise within. The staff members thanks to the Grays family are instilled with a sense of pride and responsibility in knowing that they are custodians to some of the finest cricket bats produced in the world. From the trees that arrive in bulk to the factory and the whole grading process that is done thereafter, each Gray Nicolls cricket bat is made to perfection.

Gray Nicolls Bats are known for their Superb Quality

As each year goes by the innovators at Gray Nicolls always seem to come up with something new, something that is better than the year before and something that performs better than the year before. The shapes are always evolving, the profiles always changing and that means batsmen is given an even greater advantage, year on.

Whether its the Predator range, Velocity range, the Legend, or any other, Gray Nicolls cater to all budgets and type of player.

Those that want to have something big and powerful to those that want something light, Gray Nicolls cater to them all.

We have stocked the Gray Nicolls range since the 1970s and share a very special bond with the Grays family. Having dealt originally with John Gray, we now see the reigns of the family business in the very capable hands of the next generation who have taken the products to an even higher level.

Gray Nicollsl produce some of the finest quality cricket bats

Our shelves will always hold a great amount of space for the GN bats because they are simply so good. Whilst many brands come and go, the Gray Nicolls range simply gets better, as they never rest on the fact that being the best is good enough.

Babolat Pure Drive Tennis Rackets

Babolat Pure Drive Tennis Rackets

Babolat have been producing top quality tennis rackets for many years now. They really came to light however after the sponsorship of Rafa Nadal and is meteoric rise up the ATP rankings. Never has a single sponsored player been responsible for such enormous growth in the tennis brand. His stylish looks, all round play on the court made him a firm favourite with a huge audience.

Even household names like Roger Federer cannot claim to have had such an impact on the sales of a brand. Once Nadal made it to world number one, every kid wanted to be seen with a Babolat tennis racket and likewise wanted to be kitted out with Babolat tennis shoes and clothing. The brand wasn’t just about kids though, as our sales of adult Babolat tennis rackets went through the roof too.

So coming back to the present day, one of our favourites from them has to be the Babolat Pure Drive tennis racket range. The pure Drive is an easy racket to play with, is very forgiving thanks to the cortex system and with 3 models within the Pure Drive range there is a racket to suit all types of player.

I’m sure many of you are now asking, what is cortex? Without getting overly technical and trying to complicate matters, Babolat developed the cortex system to improve the overall feel and playability of the racket for those off centre shots that we all inevitably play.

It takes me back to a few years ago when I went through a series of weekly tennis lessons over the six month period using one of the top end Prince rackets. As the weeks went by I could feel an improvement in my game.

So after 6 months of lessons, it was at the half way stage of one of those lessons that I switched over to the Pure Drive GT model that weighed 300gms. It was a total revelation, as by simply switching rackets mid way through that lesson, my game improved drastically.

Those off centre shots that made my Prince racket vibrate just a few minutes before, were now pinging off what felt like the middle of the racket with my Babolat Pure Drive GT. The cortex system was absorbing all the bad vibration and letting through just the good vibration, so that the natural, ball to racket feel wasn’t lost. Let alone the superior feel that I got from the racket myself, even my coach for 6 months commented on how my shots had improved by simply switching rackets.

So coming back to what is actually available in the Pure Drive, Babolat have created a range of rackets racket suitable to all types of players.

The Babolat Pure Drive GT weighs in at 300gms and is suited typically to male players who are confident about their game and don’t want a racket that’s too heavy and can give them a good amount of control and power. It’s also suited to ladies who once again like a little more weight in their racket and have a strong game.

The Pure Drive GT Team weighs in at 280gms and is one of our best selling models. To make it as simple as possible, this is a very easy racket to play with. The slightly lighter weight suits men and ladies as well as junior who play a powerful game and need some control on their shots without having to opt for a heavier frame that tires them out quickly.

Then at the lighter end of the spectrum we have the Babolat Pure Drive Lite which at 240gms is the perfect ladies racket as well as those juniors that are making thier way up from a junior racket, to thier first senior tennis racket.

Once again the cortex system works wonders and gives this racket a great feel.

All our Babolat tennis rackets are supplied with a free full size racket cover, so why not pop into our store or order your new racket online and take advantage of our free delivery service on all orders over £75.

Kookaburra Cricket Bats

Kookaburra Cricket Bats


Kookaburra Cricket bats  have for many years now been the preferred choice for some of the world’s top international batsmen including legends like Ricky Pointing and current stars like Joss Buttler and Glenn Maxwell.

As one of the world’s leading cricket equipment brands, Kookaburra are able to offer both the international players as well as today’s amateurs unrivalled expertise in both the product and graphic design and when you combine this with their outstanding history in the manufacturing process, the end product means a cricket bat that will be amongst the very best available.

At the forefront of the Kookaburra cricket bat range for many many years has been the Kahuna model.

While many Kookaburra range colours have come and gone, the Kahuna has always been in it’s infamous green. The iconic Kahuna has been the spearhead of the Kookaburra cricket equipment range for the last 12 years. With it’s powerful profile and shape, the thick edge and spine shape, make it an ideal cricket bat for the strokeplayer who takes control on the field and likes to lead by example.


A more recent addition to the range, but extremely successful has been the Ghost range. The huge profile of the Ghost with it’s surprisingly light pick up has been a major reason for this bat range being so successful. From the top of the range Pro model to the entry level 200, there is a Ghost bat for everyone.

 


All Kookaburra cricket bats are available in a variety of great quality and price ranges that suit all types of player and budgets. From the heavyweight models to those that are lighter, you can always be sure of a Kookaburra bat performing to the max and being made to the highest standards using the very best English willow.

Whether you choose the Kookaburra Ghost, Kahuna, the new Kookaburra Surge or any of the others, Kookaburra cricket bats are not just about the looks. The light pick up, the large thick edges and the great power from the middle is why they have always been a firm favourite with our customers.

The consistently high quality and performance levels that we have come to expect from Kookaburra continue year after year.

Gunn and Moore Cricket Bats

Gunn and Moore Cricket Bats

Gunn and Moore make cricket bats, but unlike almost all other major brands, GM produce all their cricket bats in house at their state of the art factory in Nottingham.

Keeping the production process in Nottingham means they have complete control over how the bats are produced from the second the felled trees arrive at the factory, to the moment the bat grip is attached and the final stickers placed on the blade.

GM bats are well and truly made in England for batsmen all around the world. In fact, GM make more cricket bats in the UK than all the other bat brands (that manufacture in the UK) put together.

So when you as a customer have so much choice, why should you choose a GM cricket bat? Well, GM are the only company to combine DXM technology with over 130 years of bat crafting experience.

Over five years of research into cricket bat materials and manufacturing technology processes, along with substantial investment in research, led to some significant findings and the subsequent implementation of the DXM machinery at the factory in Nottingham.

So with GM its not just about bringing out new models year after year with new colours. There is a precise science being each design process and that’s why GM bat sales are consistently strong amongst all types of senior players as well as our budding juniors.

GM produce some of the best junior cricket bats and when it’s time to make the transition to a full size bat, GM once again are at the forefront, with the Academy size that takes into account the need for a lighter weight bat, but with the power needed by the taller youth player, that helps in that transition phase between a junior and adult bat.

The 2017 GM cricket bat range caters to all types of players with a new innovation, in that blade lengths are now optimised with three different lengths, namely L555, L540 and L525.  

As the blade length decreases, the handle length increases, so that the overall length of the bat remains constant so each model is suited to every type of player, regardless of height.

Shorter blades allow the batsmen fast hands through the ball, with a larger sweetspot and swell for supreme balance and explosive power that is demanded by today’s modern cricketing batsmen.

Check out the latest GM cricket bats from…

  • Kaha
  • Neon
  • Chrome

Whatever you choose in whatever grade, one thing you can be sure of, is the fact that your GM bat will perform to the max and will bring you success on the field, runs on the board and many hours of satisfaction.

A Review of GM Chrome DXM 808 Cricket Bat

Gray Nicolls Predator 3 Cricket Bats

Gray Nicolls are one of the most recognised cricket bat brands in the world. Aspiring cricketers as well as leading test players trust Gray Nicolls and their bat making pedigree.

For the new season we have  seen the launch of the new Gray Nicolls Predator 3 cricket bat range. Whilst most of the brands have opted to design cricket bats with very big edges huge profiles and a powerful look, Gray Nicolls have gone against the grain and opted for the opposite.

With the Gray Nicolls Predator 3 cricket bat range, we can see moderately the cages, quite a bit of concaving and extremely steep spine. To design a bag with that much concave in with quite bold and brave, but initial customer feedback and sales have been most promising anything obviously what people want to see. Whilst many are obsessed with measuring tapes and statistics, I firmly believe rulers and measuring tapes are instruments used by those with little actual bat knowledge. if you’re looking to buy a cricket bat you can read my best cricket bats review for 2017 here. Finally enough, just this evening I watched the movie Sally which is based on the true story of the American airlines flight that was landed on the Hudson River. During one of the scenes in the movie Tom Hanks who plays the lead role is questioned as to why he took the decision to land the plane on the river as opposed to heading back to LaGuardia airport, that is to say what calculations he made in order to take that all important decision with regards to the lives of the 155 on board. His reply was that he didn’t make any calculations it was just based upon his judgement, likewise those of us know simply know about cricket bats we don’t base our thoughts on rulers.

Kookaburra Ghost Pro Batting Gloves

kookaburra ghost pro batting gloves
The new Kookaburra Ghost Pro Batting Gloves

The Kookaburra Ghost  was one of the best selling cricket bats for most retailers last year. Therefore, it was no surprise then to see Kookaburra expand the whole Ghost range quite substantially.

Keeping with the white and silver colour scheme from the original range, the new additions look really classy and manage to show off the product to great effect.

At the top of the range is the Kookaburra Ghost Pro batting gloves. A sausage style glove, the Ghost Pro offers top levels of protection to the batsmen and thanks to the top quality materials used by Kookaburra, the glove offers excellent protection and comfort too.

It’s commonly known that sausage style batting gloves offer very good levels of protection, but it’s also known that due to the sausage style design with no precut fingers, this style of glove takes longer to break in too.

The Kookaburra Ghost Pro Batting Gloves work well and offers the flexibility batsmen need.

As for sizes, they are available in both small men’s and standard men’s sizes.

Kookaburra Ghost Pro Batting Gloves

Scenes from Around Our Cricket Store in London

Ealing Green
The amazing greenery just outside our cricket equipment store in London.

We’ve been based in London since 1978. Having started our cricket business from Slough in Berkshire in 1973, once it was time to expand, numerous locations were mooted including Portsmouth, Southend and so many more. Ultimately we felt London was the place to be. With so many clubs in and around the city as well as an amazing catchment area, Ealing was the preferred choice. With some top clubs surrounding us such as Ealing Cricket club, Brentham, Uxbridge and Harrow to name just to name just a few, this was the place to be.

London theatres
Londons theatres are amongst the best in the world

To those that live outside London, the city can seem like a daunting place with the never ending traffic, the sound of police sirens as well as aggressive and rude people. The actual reality however is very different. London has a never ending collection of wonderful parks, greenery, wide open spaces as well as a cosmopolitan society that embraces every culture and type of individual.

Coldplay live at wembley stadium
Coldplay live at Wembley Stadium earlier this year and we were there

Our passion for London and all that it embraces has seen us work on a wonderful project over the last two years, which includes an app and website both of which will be soon released.

We have put an enormous amount of work into the project and really are hoping for big things with it. It’s an iconic brand that we have and we can’t wait to let you know all about it very soon.

aerial view of london
Landing into Heathrow airport and the views are stunning.

The amazing selection of shows at London’s theatres to the biggest bands coming to play at the O2 Arena and Wembley Stadium, London is a city to which people all over the world travel to, in order to see the best perform live. Earlier this year for example Coldplay sold out Wembley Stadium night after night and then the following week we had Rihanna and Beyoncé. Every summer season London become a musical extravaganza in not only the amazing stadium venues but also with Hyde Park been transformed into concert arena for hundreds of thousands during London’s amazing summer nights.

If you like eating out, we have an amazing selection of restaurants around us store catering to all types of food junkie. From Vietnamese to Chinese to Indian to Italian to French as well as some amazing fish and chips, we have it all within walking distance from a store. Are yes let’s not forget the fantastic kebab places to as well as some of the finest Persian cuisine you would have tasted anywhere.

So if you’re planning to come to buy some cricket equipment from us, why not make a day or a weekend of it and spend some time around us in London. There really is so much to do and when our app and website are launched that should help you to make the most of this amazing city.

Directions to the VKS.com Cricket Store London – Location on Google Maps

Best Cricket Bats In The World for 2017 – A Review and Guide (April)

Introduction to the Top Cricket Bats In the World for 2017

Cricket bats have come along way over the last few years, thanks to new manufacturing techniques as well as the cricket bat companies pushing new ideas through.

The big guns like Gray Nicolls and Kookaburra have all introduced some innovative models like the Neon, Chrome and Kaha from Gunn & Moore, the Velocity from Gray Nicolls and the stylish Ghost range from Kookaburra.

Bigger than anyone, is the SS Ton brand. SS Ton produce more bats than any of the big three just mentioned and are one of the most widely used bats amongst test and one day players all over the world.

At VKS we like to stock quality cricket bats that serve our customers well. Cheap cricket bats just don’t fascinate us, good value for money bats certainly do. Whilst we have good quality English willow bats from under £100, we ensure they look as good as possible for the money and perform well too.

  • Junior cricket bats are now more popular than ever thanks to the growing number of children playing the game.
  • We have bats from Size 0, for less than £30 up to top of the range English willow models selling for £250.
  • Our knowledge and expertise will help you choose the right size and model, after all getting the wrong bat could mean hating the game. When it comes to junior bats GM are pretty special.

They cater to all price points and really know how to make light cricket bats that youngsters enjoy playing with. Its great to see our 8 year olds that come in for a size 3 and then as they go up a size, they seem to keep to the GM brand and just keep going up a size.

The sections below give an insight into some of our favourites for the new season. We hope it helps you in that all so important decision.

 

Gray Nicolls Classic Collection

gray Nicolls classic collection cricket bats
Some of the models from Gray-Nicolls Classic Collection

Gray Nicolls Classic Collection Cricket Bats are designed for the cricketer who like to bat at the crease or on the nets with a clean, retro style bat with a somewhat ”more serious” look.

  • The stylish classic collection of cricket bats from Gray Nicolls include models that are suitable for all standards and type of player.
  • The newly introduced Gray Nicolls Performance cricket bat model has been designed with a slightly shorter blade, which then allows for super thick edges and an imposing profile that offers serious power.
  • Bat weights tend to start from around the 2.10 mark and really do offer the batsmen something new.

Other models in the Gray Nicolls Classic cricket bats range include…

  • Prestige
  • Players
  • Select
  • Ultimate

Of these, Ultimate is the new budget model the Ultimate which comes as standard with a clear anti scuff sheet and fibreglass tapes edges for added protection.

A Review of Gray Nicolls Classic Collection

Lets talk a bit about each of these models.

Now which of these cricket bat models you decide to choose from, the Gray Nicolls brand ensures a great looking bat with clean lines and great value for money.

 

Gray Nicolls Kaboom Cricket Bats

gray Nicolas kaboom cricket bats
As used by David Warner, the Gray Nicolls Kaboom

The Gray Nicolls Kaboom cricket bats have been endorsed by Australia’s explosive batsmen David Warner for many years now. David Warner’s batting style has graced many a cricket field and tormented numerous bowlers around the world. The loud graphics can be seen from the boundary and it’s this same powerful style of branding that passes through to the batsmen.

  • The Kaboom cricket bats are light, pick up beautifully and offer great value to the all round player.
  • The Kaboom cricket bats are made from good quality English willow that has been carefully grown, kiln dried, cut and then made by Gray Nicolls skilled craftsmen.

The history and heritage of the Gray Nicolls brand although always known through its traditional heritage, still reflects itself beautifully through this modern day cricket bat.

You can order your Kaboom today and trust our in-store experts to pick out a great bat for you. Feel free to contact us for further information or why not visit our cricket equipment store in London and pick one out for yourself.

 

Gray Nicolls Predator Cricket Bats Range

gray Nicolas predator 3 cricket bat
Its back, but now as the all new Predator 3

The Gray Nicolls Predator was an iconic cricket bat and the choice of many batsmen. For 2017 the Gray Nicolls icon from yesteryear makes a return as the Gray Nicolls Predator 3.

  • The Gray Nicolls Predator 3 has been designed with a fuller shaped profile and very steep spine so as to give the bat a very light feel.
  • The mid swell sweet spot is ideally suited to both front and back foot players and along with the semi oval handle this model give the batsmen complete control at the crease.
  • The Predator 3 is available in a variety of models for both junior and senior players.

For those looking for a heavyweight and powerful cricket bat, the Halestorm Predator 3 provides some awesome power, albeit in a rather heavy weight design.

Other models include…

The Predator models can be bought online by visiting our store in London, where you will find a multitude of weights available through the whole Predator 3 range.

If you’re not able to visit us feel free to drop us a line or call us and we will be glad to pick out a bat for you.

 

Gray Nicolls Velocity Cricket Bats Range

gray nicolls velocity xp1 cricket bats
The Gray Nicolls Velocity Cricket Bat Range

The Gray Nicolls Velocity cricket bat range provides power in abundance. This well crafted cricket bat is balanced and provides the batsmen with the perfect balance and pick up.

  • The steep spine adds to the batsman’s confidence when at the crease.
  • The striking design scheme is visually intimidating and adds to the batsmen’s confidence.

The mid blade strike zone area and the sculpted profile gives this bat a great feel. The stylish graphics can be seen from all corners of the ground.

 

Kookaburra Kahuna Cricket Bats Range

kookaburra kahuna cricket bats
Kookaburra Kahuna Cricket Bats

The Kookaburra Kahuna cricket bat range has been at the forefront of the cricketing world for over a decade. The powerful profile, the thick edges and the infamous styling have made this cricket bat the perfect weapon of the strokemaker who likes to dominate the bowler and lead from the front.

We have a variety of models within the Kookaburra Kahuna cricket bat range, at the helm of which is the Kahuna Pro model which is made from the top quality players specially selected grade 1 English Willow.

  • This bat is supplied with a free of charge padded bat cover.
  • The Kookaburra Kahuna 2000 is made from premium grade 1 Willow that will have well defined grains along with superb ping and performance.
  • The Kookaburra Kahuna bats have a mid range sweetspot, the square edge profile along with the flat power plus face.
  • For those looking for maximum willow behind the middle of the bat you can expect to see super spine height and a slight bow to help with the balance and pick up.

Other bats are also available in the range including the heavyweight Obscene and Extreme models as well as the Lite.

The round handle and grip make this a great choice for all types of batsmen and with models from the Kahuna Pro all the way down to the Kahuna 500 there is something to suit everybody.

 

Kookaburra Ghost Cricket Bats Range

kookaburra ghost cricket bats
The Kookaburra Ghost Cricket Bat Range

The Kookaburra Ghost cricket bat range simply comprised of a single model last year, but such was the success of this model that we now have a Kookaburra Ghost to suit every price point and playing style.

For the 2017 season the Kookaburra Ghost has been completely redesigned and with its genuine monster of a profile you get a bat that looks huge and menacing but with exceptionally light pick up.

A minimal amount of concaving really does give this bat an awesome and powerful look. The Kookaburra Ghost cricket bat range is spearheaded by the top quality Pro model which has been handmade using players quality specially selected English willow and this model is also supplied with a free of charge bat cover.

  • The Kookaburra Ghost bats have a mid range sweet spot, the big square edge profile along with the flat power plus face.
  • The super spine height coupled with the minimal concave styling really make this a big bat and with the gently bowed blade and oval shaped handle the pick up on all the Kookaburra Ghost models is exceptional.

For those looking for an even lighter feel today Ghost bat why not look at the late model with weights starting from around 2.7

 

Kookaburra Surge Cricket Bats Range

kookaburra surge cricket bats
Kookaburra Surge Cricket Bats

The new Kookaburra Surge cricket bats offered a fresh look for the 2017 season. An all new profile with a low middle along with distinctive shaping to the toe area of the bat offering enhanced pick up and balance. The stylish looks of the new Surge should make this bat a hit for the new season.

So what can you expect from this new model?

  • A low position sweet spot along with big square edges and a dynamic face profile with a slightly rounded face for all round control.
  • The super spine height and minimal concave into the back along with a bowed blade and oval shaped handle make this a great cricket bat for the all-round player.

The Kookaburra Surge is available at price points suited for all types of player. We have a good selection of bats in stock available for next day delivery.

 

New Balance TC Cricket Bats Range

new balance tc cricket bats
New Balance TC Cricket Bats as used by Joe Root

As used by England’s test batsmen Joe Root, the New Balance TC cricket bat has seen some serious coverage on the TV recently thanks to his many long and glorious innings since he started using the New Balance range.

The striking red and yellow colour scheme along with the infamous NB branding has taken the cricketing world by storm and in turn New Balance into one of the hottest cricket equipment brands around.

  • New Balance has a well balanced and light cricket bat range with a mid sweet spot position.
  • These bats suit the all round player and that can be clearly seen from the all round play from Joe Root.

Whether it’s his patient test innings or his explosive play during the one dayers, the New Balance bat ​has catered to Joe Root’s every cricketing need.

The range is available for both junior and senior players with prices starting from £40 for juniors. For the senior players prices range from around £100 and go up to over £400 for the top of the range models.

 

New Balance DC Cricket Bats Range

The New Balance DC range stands for Dynamic Cricket. Many of the world’s leading batsmen of the last few years have endorsed New Balance range including Australian opener Steve Smith and England’s Ben Stokes.

  • DC bats are designed with a low swell hitting area along with thick edges and a powerful profile.
  • The excellent quality willow used throughout the range gives these bats a large sweet spot hitting area, a fuller profile and steep spine.

The eye-catching blue background to the logo stands out from the boundary and exudes class. The DC is certainly a dynamic cricket bat suitable for the all-round power player with its thick edges and powerful profile.

 

GM Chrome Cricket Bats Range

GM Chrome Range known for their great Power

Gunn and Moore have always made top quality cricket bats. The state of the art factory in Nottingham is renowned for its manufacturing processes and for the 2017 season the GM Chrome DXM cricket bat range will see GM produce yet another winner.

  • The GM Chrome cricket bat range offers batsmen a low to mid swell area with a traditional length blade.
  • The GM Chrome is made using the latest manufacturing processes thanks to the DXM machinery at the GM factory.
  • The Chrome cricket bats are fitted with top quality treble spring handles that give outstanding feel with flex and control to the batsmen.
  • The huge edges and contours of the GM Chrome give this bat great power for all types of batsmen.

The Chrome range is available in a variety of models from the 606 all the way up to the Original Limited Edition which is made from the finest premium grade 1 English Willow. The GM Chrome is available in a variety of weights and balances.

 

GM Neon Cricket Bats Range

For short blade length professionals prefer GM Neon Cricket Bats Range

The GM Neon cricket bat range offers the batsmen a mid to high swell position with the shorter length blade. The Neon model is manufactured in Gunn and Moore’s state-of-the-art factory in Nottingham.

  • This bat has been designed and built with a shorter 540mm blade coupled with a 310mm handle so as to give the same overall length as a standard cricket bat.
  • The advantage of doing that is by having a slightly shorter blade, more weight can be distributed to the hitting area, thus giving the batsmen a huge profile with power that is suited for all-round play.

 

GM Kaha Cricket Bats Range

GM Kaha Cricket Bats are made from best quality english willow

Gunn and Moore Kaha cricket bats are made at the GM factory in Nottingham using some of the most technologically advanced techniques in the world. GM make cricket bats like nobody else and they are proud of it.

A family owned company, GM always invested great amounts of time and money into research and new ideas, hence the GM Kaha was born.

  • The GM Kaha is designed with a shorter than normal blade. This means more wood in the shorter length blade can then be left in the sweetspot area of the bat, to give the batsmen even more power and leave the bowler at a serious disadvantage.
  • The overall length of the bat remains the same though as the handle, length is extenuated.

GM Kaha cricket bats offer great value for money to the power player, looking for something different.

Manufactured in England using good quality English willow, GM Kaha bats offer the batsmen a real advantage on the field. Why not order yours today.

 

GM Mana Cricket Bats Range

GM Mana comes with a longer handle

The GM Mana cricket bat range was one of our best selling bats in the first season it was introduced, so when we first heard of GM restyling revamping it we thought why? Then came the annual new product presentation held at the GM headquarters in September. That’s when we saw how something so good can be made even better.

  • The new styling is understated yet striking.
  • An imposing bat profile that suits all styles of play.
  • The shorter length blade has been a huge success and makes the bat feel so much lighter, with great power distribution.
  • The overall length if the blade is made up thanks to the longer handle.

 

Hunts County Cricket Bats

Hunts County Cricket Bats boosts some affordable range

Hunts County are of one of the most understated English cricket bat brands around. They have produced some of the best and most innovative cricket bat designs over the last few decades such as the Insignia and Reflex models.

We at VKS have always had a close friendship with the owner at Hunts County and when we recently approached him about a custom-made profile for us, he immediately agreed.

So we have taken the very good looking Hunts County Caerelux model with its old style retro look, but then have given it a seriously modern twist with its thick edges, fuller profile and duck bill toe.

We’ve ended up with is a seriously good looking cricket bat at a great price that performs to perfection. We’ve made the bat an affordable one that’s accessible to all with two great price points, coupled with the quality and bat making expertise that one expect from a true British bat maker like Hunts County.

 

The Best Cricket Bats Are:

Cricket Bat Series Description Price
Kookaburra Kahuna 1000 A classic model with a fresh new look and profile for 2017. This top cricket bat has thick edges with some shaping to the back that gives this bat a light weight feel even though it’s so big and powerful. 259.99
Hunts County Caerelux Super Selected Specially designed and made for VKS cricket shop in London. We took the retro look and added our desire for a fuller profile and thick edges. Firmer feel thanks to County’s bat pressing expertise. 239.99
GM Neon 808 5 Star A slightly shorter bat means a thicker blade and lighter bat weight. Made at GM’s factory in Nottingham using the latest DXM design and manufacturing processes. A firm favourite with us. 189.99
Gray- Nicolls Legend The ultimate cricket bat. Engraved styling upon what is without doubt some of the finest quality willow available to anyone. Limited in supply with unlimited grains and ping on every piece of willow. 599.99
Kookaburra Ghost 1000 Stunning white and silver graphics grace the full profile shape, with its thick edges and abundance of power. A medium weight bat that picks up a lot lighter than its deadweight thanks to its design style. 279.99
SS Ton Reserve Edition One of the finest quality cricket bats we stocks. Premium grade one Willow that’s specially selected for us by Jatin Sareen. We visit the SS factory at least twice a year to select our bats. 389.99
SF Black Edition Black Edition bats ping like no other. Fuller shapes and very thick profiles gives this. Awesome power with bat weights lighter than most other makers are able to produce. 359.99
Gray Nicolls Classic Collection Select Retro styling coupled with the latest big profile trend and some sculpting to help with the pick up makes this bat a great choice for the new season. 159.99
New Balance TC1260 As used by England captain Joe Root. Top quality English willow with very thick edges and a steep spine. Lightweight feel and suited to the all round player. 359.99
SS Ton Butterfly Willow Limited in supply from one of the worlds biggest cricket bat factories. Not at all pretty, but great performance at a low price. Not too big a profile and some concaving is what makes them so light and useable by all. 99.99
Newbery Infinity An affordable bat with some unusual stickers and an imposing profile. Thick edges with a sharp spine and great ping. Medium weights are to be expected with some good performance levels. 164.99
Gray Nicolls Velocity XP1 5 Star A bat that has been designed be be light, easy to play with and suit the all round player. There’s no obsession with edges and full profiles. This bat is there to serve young as well as older established players. 239.99
GM Kaha 606 A bat with a difference. Shorter blade length but in the well priced 606 model. Suitable for all types of player, but especially those that like to play with aggression. GM branding means it looks good too. 114.99
MRF Genius Limited Edition Used by Virat Kohli the master batsmen, the MRF bats offer lightweight pick up, good profiles with minimal shaping to the back. Very popular with our instore customers. 329.99
Kookaburra Kahuna Extreme Seriously big Bats with huge profiles along with the dynamic Kahuna styling. Weights will be around 3lbs so definitely not a bat for the faint hearted. 159.99

best cricket bats review 2017

 

 

Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed my post on the top cricket bats for 2017, and I’m positive this will help you to decide which bat to opt for this cricketing season! Its always a good idea to walk into our cricket equipment shop in London to get a physical feel of things and pick out your new bat!

Hand Picked Cricket Bats…some truths!

Cricket bats have been manufactured for many years now in factories all over the world. What was originally a very British manufacturing heritage has over the years ventured out to various units in India, Pakistan, Australia and other such reasons to name but a few. No matter where the bat is made though, there is only one type of Willow that’s good enough for the very best of cricket bats and that is grown in England.

We have proudly sold cricket bats since 1973. We initially began by selling Kashmir Willow bats that we imported and sold only by mail order thanks to monthly adverts in The Cricketer magazine and this then expanded into selling English willow bats from the likes of Stuart Surridge and Duncan Fearnley via our store in London.

TO BE CONTINUED……

Aero Strippers, Batting Gloves, Batting Pads and some logic


When I first heard about the Aero Strippers a few years ago, my initial reaction was that it was just a fad that would pass. Well I am now well and truly eating humble pie as the Aero Strippers have become an integral part of all batsman’s protective kit collection.

A few years on and the Aero strippers range has remained pretty much the same, but in terms of sales has gone from strength to strength.

However, if I’m perfectly honest to this day I still don’t understand why hoardes of junior and senior batsmen feel this piece of kit is so important and perhaps my reasoning to follow will make some sense.

The cricket helmet protects the all important head area and brands like Gray-Nicolls and GM produce very good quality helmets from around the £40 mark. Next up in order of importance is the batting legguard. Without this vital piece of equipment there are surely going to be some broken bones from the pacier deliveries.

Very often customers will come in stating that they don’t really want to pay more than £35-£40 for a batting legguard and then no more than £25 for a pair of batting gloves.

I sincerely respect all of the above statements but then what really throws me back is when that same customer wants to spend £40 on Aero Strippers.

Don’t get me wrong, the Aero strippers range contains some brilliantly made products. They offer a great quality, fantastic protection and do exactly what they are supposed to. However how can anyone justify wanting to spend more on a thigh and inner thigh pad than they would on a pair of batting legguards?

If you get hit on the legs and are not wearing a decent pair of pads, you will do some serious damage to your knee, shins and ankle areas to name just a few. However even if you’re not wearing a thigh pad altogether let alone a cheap one and you get hit on the thigh you will end up with some bruising.

Hence, my utter dismay at the budget allocations many customers seem to think it’s sensible to come down for the  essential pieces of protective equipment they need.

If you are willing to spend £40 on the thigh area then common sense says should be spending more than that on your batting legguards. There is more to injure around your lower leg area than there is around the thigh and inner thigh areas.

Likewise with batting gloves too we very often hear the comment of not wanting to spend too much money as “I’m not good batsmen anyways”. In my opinion commonsense says if you are not so great a batsmen, it means you’re more likely to get hit on the gloves and therefore you should be spending more on them.

A good batsmen is more likely to have the agility to play the ball with his bat than one that is not so great and may well get wrapped on the knuckles and therefore rather more prone to injury.

The Aero Strippers range offers great quality at a good price, but likewise don’t forget how important other items of protective equipment are too.

Gray Nicolls Legend Cricket Bats


The Gray Nicolls Legend cricket bat range is know to the amongst the finest bats available. Some would say that down to the price, as they are the most expensive, amongst all the brands. Whilst they are most certainly at the pinnacle of the pricing scale, the quality is there to match to you both junior and senior models.

The clean laser in graved look at was introduced to the models last year really sets the tone for the overall look, feel and ultimate appeal of the bat. Then it’s the finishing, workmanship and grain structure that shows you only the finest willow clefts are used for the manufacture of the Gray Nicolls Legend cricket bats.

The quality of the blades found in the full size model passes through to the Harrow, 6 and size 5 models too. Junior batsmen can now experience the very best.

Here are the full details on the Gray Nicolls Legend cricket bat range.

Red Cards, Cricket Bat Edges and Revamps 

As the famous cliché goes “it’s a batsmen’s game” more so in the limited over’s format, however with the new MCC proposal discussed at the recently concluded MCC meeting in Mumbai, there could be more of a balance between bat and ball that’s being struck.

Although, at this stage the changes are mere suggestions and if implemented post requisite approvals would come into effect late 2017.One of the primary change being mooted is the Send-off law, yes like in most other sports around the world this law would enable the umpire to send-off (not sure if a red card would be used) a player for disciplinary reasons while on field.

This would probably help the umpires gain full control in proceeding on the field of play, instances where such a law could come into play would be when players threaten an umpire or physically assault another player or umpire.

Another area of concern more so amongst the bowling fraternity has been the edges on cricket bats and depth which is being looked at in terms of restricting dimensions of the cricket bat to make it a more skill based even contest between bat and ball.

This is a subject that is rather close to our heart as we see so many bats come in and out of the store every year. Whilst undoubtably bats have become bigger, the authorities need to understand that in order to use a bigger but you have to be stronger too, so undoubtably batsmen fitness levels have also improved dramatically over the years and this is also what is helping them to hit the ball further. Whilst we are in favour of some sort of a limit on how thick  bats should be, to bring it down to what is being suggested at the 35mm level we think is somewhat too restrictive to the bat makers and will affect the designs in a big way.

The nature of the game has also changed considerably and to have been a bad would ultimately lead to more breakages as those players who need a heavier think about due to their physique simply won’t have them available.

The is also a consideration being given to validating catches where the ball has come in contact with the helmet or stuck in the grille of the fielders helmet. While the current ruling deems this as not out, the new ruling would make it consistent with instances where ball stuck between keeper’s pads or fielders clothing is deemed out.

The laws of the game do need to lend itself a bit more to the bowlers in today’s day and age of cricket with shorter boundaries, flatter pitches, fielding restrictions and one does hope consideration like above as well as increasing the numbers of bouncers permitted would help even up the contest and make is an exciting and balance spectacle.

Do share your thoughts.

 

 

Masuri Original Series Cricket Helmets


Masuri cricket helmets, I guess you could say are like the Coca Cola of the cricketing helmet world. Whilst they are simply one of many brands available, they are also one of the 1st you think of when it comes to cricket helmets.

After the new safety standards were introduced a few years ago, all the leading brands had to go back to the drawing board and reinvent themselves. Masuri did that with the vision series, but there were some that still wanted the age old infamous original design.

Masuri Original Series styling features includes…

  • A cloth covered top with great all round visibility.
  • Titanium and Steel grill variations.
  • Padding all around the inside of the helmet to ensure the batsmen maximum comfort at the crease.

In terms of quality and workmanship, we can safely say the Masuri helmet is amongst the best thanks to their in-house production facility in the UK.

Your cricket equipment original kit bag is certainly complete with one of the Masuri helmets which are available with other size variations as well as steel and titanium options.

Let’s have a closer look on the Masuri Original Series MK2 Cricket Helmet: