News Article: Performance Encapsulated in Willow - The New 2013 Salix Cricket Bats

News Article

22 March 2013Performance Encapsulated in Willow - The New 2013 Salix Cricket BatsAuthor: Sam Walker

AJK XXIX Cricket Bat

The AJK XXIX (29) is performance encapsulated in willow. Chosen from the pick of the timber, the best of the best grade ones, these are rare and precious clefts stemming from trees which have grown exceptionally evenly to produce the truest grain and cleanest note.

Once chosen the cleft is individually planed and sawn into the ideal dimensions for the playing area, then every ounce of power is amplified through specific targeted pressing. The more angular face is then shaped through the driving area into a subtle, fluid, bowed profile to exemplify hand-shaping and to give the magical balance and pickup associated with Andrew and Salix. The upper part of the blade however has a more traditional radius to give a unique combination profile: flatter through the driving area yet more convex around the splice. This treatment of the edges really demonstrates the difference between bat making and carpentry. The labels’ graduated copper beading then picks up this movement whilst the edges flare into the impossibly large sweet spot.

The bat is all languid bow and exaggerated edges, but the shape is to a degree determined by the wood, as Andrew lets the natural properties of the blade determine the exact height of the driving area. The willow and the maker are in perfect harmony, the result is a bat with perfect pitch.

“Perfectly balanced. Sinuously curved with the bat's understated livery giving it a quiet confidence...the design of Andrew Kember owes everything to his deserved reputation as a master of his craft."

The Cricketer June 2012 ‘Bats Out of Heaven’ a review of bats in which the AJK top scored.




The Pod has evolved again, with a new flatter face achieved through targeted, graduated profiling and pressing. The radius is reduced to 3mm from the centre to the edge of the blade, swelling even more wood into the huge edges, yet still uniquely side pressed whilst maintaining that languid bow. This is not conventional bat making, this is the culmination of years of experience, development and investment to produce a bat with a startling profile, gorgeous bow, exquisite pickup. . . and ridiculous performance. Every element works together to give the ultimate batting experience.

Bowed with a long, deep, mid driving area and impossibly thick edges, we concave sand through the back of the blade just enough to reduce weight whilst keeping the essential depth and weight of wood through the bats core. The result is the greatest and most rewarding playing surface, with lightest pick up and superb manoeuvrability. Every angle is precisely shaped and smoothed through our unique sanding so the bat undulates in form, more sculpture than carpentry. Chosen from the best of the best clefts, the Pod is performance in its highest state.


The Torque equals power. With the new flatter face, swollen edges and smooth bow, the back is fuller to give even more power to every shot. The flatter face gives the blade greater purchase on the ball so Torque plus timing equals performance2.

The profile is extreme, but expert handwork ensures that it picks up beautifully; the balance, from the handle flex through to the core weighting into the toe is immaculate.

New marbled chrome and black labels are flooded with aqua, the effect is jewel like. But there is nothing delicate about the Torque, it will be a brute on the pitch.


The 2013 Praestantia is characterized by a long, low driving area, an amplified high spline, substantial but even edges and controlled concave sanding through the back of the blade to give a significantly pronounced profile. Gently bowed through the lower part of the blade, the driving area runs from the middle down to give maximum playing surface, with a fluid, comfortable balance and pick up.

Pressed using our signature rollers, the face is convex to a 6mm radius so is slightly rounder for a more traditional look and feel in play. Ideally suited to the lighter weight range for touch players looking for the very best pick up and bat speed.


The Wasp has a low driving area, slightly dropped shoulders, full edges and a mid to low profile. It is a punchy new bat which no one so far has been able to resist in design or feel since its launch in the autumn. Like the Gem and Strike before it, the Wasp is ideal as a transitional bat between sizes, and is suited to all formats of the game. It is also the most accessible bat in the range, offered in Grade One, Performance, Select and a new Stinger grade in seniors, and Select and Stinger in juniors.






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