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English Willow vs. Kashmir Willow Cricket Bats – What’s The Difference?

In this article, we state the differences between English willow and Kashmir willow.

By CricketersChoice Editors

As you already know, different types of wood are used in the manufacturing of cricket bats. The most preferred type of wood is willow. There are different varieties of willow wood, of which is grown all across the world.  The two types of most commonly used willow in cricket bats are; English willow and Kashmir willow. 

In this article, we compare English willow and Kashmir willow by listing the main differences and listing the situations in which both should be used. So what are the differences between the two types?

Heritage

The first and most obvious difference is heritage. As the names suggest, both types of willow are grown in completely different areas of the world. English white willow is native to areas all across the UK. On the other hand, Kashmir willow is grown in the Kashmir regions of India. Due to the heat, Kashmir willow is grown in more firmer, drier soil whereas English willow is grown in more cooler and moist soil. 

Colour​

There is a clear colour different between English willow and Kashmir willow. Again as the name suggests English ‘white’ willow is fairer –  almost white in colour, whereas Kashmir willow appears slightly browner and has an overall darker tone.

Grains

Aside from colour, there are visible differences in the grain structure of each type of willow. Grain structure is a lot more prominent within English willow. This implies that brown/black lines will be more noticeable on the blade of any English willow bat. As for Kashmir willow, the grains are less visible and embed within the blade. In some cases grains do not appear at all, so it’s hard to tell what grade willow a Kashmir bat actually is. 

Weight

Weight varies between the two types of willow. Naturally, Kashmir willow weighs more than English willow. This is due to moisture and density levels of the willow. A heavier bat can result in slower bat speed, which is something most batsman want to avoid. 

Performance

There is a significant difference when it comes to performance. Kashmir willow is harder and less responsive, which means less power will be generated when playing a shot. English willow offers more value per shot, with a longer and wider middle creating a more responsive surface when hitting the ball.

Regarding longevity, it’s safe to say that Kashmir willow bats do not last as long as an English willow bat. They are designed for indoor play with soft balls. You can use Kashmir bats against hard balls, however you will be limited to the number of games you place with it.

Maintenance

Both types of willow require maintenance, however one typically requires more than others. English willow is softer and therefore has a greater chance of being damaged. It should therefore be oiled frequently to ensure it stays soft. 

When To Use

We would recommend using Kashmir willow at the start of any cricketing career, especially for children. Kashmir willow bats are cheaper and require less maintenance than English willow. As most junior play is with soft balls, we think this makes a Kashmir cricket bat perfect for learning the game of cricket.

As an individual becomes more advanced, that’s when an English willow bat should be brought into play. The very best cricketers use the finest English willow out of the crease, and there are plenty of reasons for that. Better ping, a lighter weight and an overall better quality material means English willow is the most popular material in cricket.

Price​

Kashmir willow is considerably less expensive than English willow. Kashmir bats typically cost between the £30 to £50 mark, whereas English willow can start at £100 and range all the way to £500. 

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