Originally Posted by vsbabolat
Can the public still buy the bats if they know who the real batmaker is?
It is all but impossible for the public to get the best bats. All decent cricket bats need to be made from Willow grown in England. Apparently the precise climate in whi the trees grow matters. Of the English willow that is harvested, the best pieces are saved for the professionals.
I used to buy custom made bats from a New Zealand batmaker(http://www.laverwood.co.nz/
) who sold three models of bats, the only difference being the type of wood and blemishes in the grain. If a bat is made from the top 5% of the stock (that he imports from England), he sells it for (US) $700; if it is made from the next 10%, it is about $350; and the rest were about $250. That was a few years ago. I don't know his pricing now.
I assume the pros get the top 1% of the stock.
Edit: I guess I should explain that there is such a thing a custom made bats in cricket. Good Off the shelf bats go for anywhere from $100 to $250, but if you are willing to pay abit more, you can have it made to any spec(weight, weight distribution, shape, lengths of handle/blade, location of sweet spot...) you like. The only hard part is the quality of the raw material. So I guess comparting the situation with cricket is apples and oranges. In Tennis, it si the exact opposite. The raw materials are synthetic and almost anyone can get what Federer uses. But we can't precisely customize the shape, weight distribution and size.