Game Set & Match visit Gray Nicolls and Kookaburra
This post is part of Cricket Insight’s insiders series – it’s been written and curated by retailer Game, Set & Match.
“February is a busy month for us retailers, winter nets have kicked in, people are beginning to buy their kit and we’re are tasked with securing their stock for the remainder of the season.
The visits to the manufacturers are days we always look forward to. It’s something we have done for the past three years and it really has made a difference for our customers. Earlier in the month we had two very contrasting visits to two of the biggest manufacturers of cricket bats Kookaburra and Gray Nicolls.
Firstly we went up to Corby in Northants to go through our Kookaburra February delivery. The Kookaburra warehouse is very impressive and modern, it’s a large industrial warehouse with boxes of bats stacked high on shelves to the roof. Over 15,000 bats in stock for us to go through to find the best bats in each of the models, but thankfully we did find some very nice bats. Mark Jackson at Kookaburra plays a good level of cricket and helped us a bit to narrow down our selection.
Gray-Nicolls is a very contrasting experience as they have been at their Robertsbridge premises since the early 1900’s. The office are is a maze of Victorian buildings and is adorned with signed and match used bats from legends of the game. From WG Grace to Brian Lara, Len Hutton to Alistair Cook the place is almost a museum to the great game, it really gave you a feeling of history and tradition of Gray Nicolls.
We then went through in to the bat-making department where the top end bats are made, it’s bat heaven with the smell of linseed oil and willow radiating around the place. We had a good look at all the old machines used to craft a bat in to its finished shape and saw some of the GN craftsmanship up close as they repaired a bat.
Onwards even further in to the bat storage area to hand pick our bats. Simple, but effective bat racks with bats pile high to go through. We choose on weight, pick-up, appearance and then use a bat mallet to pick out the bests bats. Craig was very helpful taking his time out to pick out some of the bats too on what was a valuable and fun day at Gray-Nicolls.