Cricket retailers tend have rolling sales, but also tend to discount items more heavily during autumn and winter. They also often have short-term sales at times such as Black Friday and after Christmas, just like most other shops.
Cricket retailers often offer bundles (e.g. bad, pads, gloves and helmet) which can be cheaper than buying them individually.
Cricket batting gloves are sold as 'right handed' and 'left handed' pairs. You don't need to order one of each. The reason there is a choice is that there is extra padding on one thumb, depending on which you choose.
Size: It is very common for kids to come to training with bats that are far too large and heavy for them, and this makes it difficult to learn batting technique and score lots of runs. If your child seems to play only one shot - a slow, diagonal swipe that looks a bit like a golf shot, then it's very likely that the bat is too heavy. We strongly urge younger players to start with a plastic Kwik Cricket bat of the right size which cost only about £10. If buying a wooden bat for a child, please avoid the temptation to buy a large bat, thinking it will last several years. Your child will benefit more from you buying a cheap bat every 1-2 years of the right size than a beautiful and expensive bat that is too big and heavy. As a rough guide, ask your child to hold the bat at the end of the handle out front of them, pointing both arm and bat horizontally away from them. If they struggle to hold the bat in that position for 30 seconds, it's too heavy. With a bat of the right weight, your child can comfortably hold a back-lift for 5-10 seconds, and can comfortably play all of the shots that coaches teach them. If you are not sure, please ask in a local shop or ask our coaches for advice.
Grading: Cricket bat willow is typically graded 1, 2, 3 and 4 with 1 being the most beautiful wood (no blemishes) and 4 having many blemishes. Cricketers usually love the look of Grade 1, so those bats will normally be many times more expensive; however visual blemishes generally do not affect the performance of the bat.
Origin: Cricketers generally agree that English willow does tend to feel lighter and feel better when hitting the ball for some reason than the cheaper Kashmir willow. Kashmir willow is therefore normally only used for the very cheapest bats.
Oiling: Bat faces, edges and toes that do not have a protective plastic layer should be oiled with raw linseed oil (also sold as "cricket bat oil"). Raw linseed oil will gradually absorb into the surface and will oxidise to form a tough but flexible polymer layer that is bonded to the wood fibres, thus protecting the wood from cracking. Raw linseed oil polymerises much more slowly than boiled linseed oil, allowing more time for it to seep into the wood. There are many videos online to show how to do this. Do not oil the splice (where the handle joins the blade).
For players playing with a junior-sized cricket ball, these must be junior helmets by a reputable maker, so that the gap in the visor grill is small enough to stop the smaller ball. Helmet makers advise helmets to be replaced if the helmet takes a significant hit or after about 3 years. We recommend avoiding second hand helmets, and while we do provide some used helmets for players to borrow if coming for a taster session, please note that we cannot guarantee that they will protect the head as well as a new helmet would, and we urge parents to buy a new, well-fitting helmet for for any child playing with a hard ball.