This is a question we have been asked often by our friends. Why English willow? Why not Kashmir willow?
English willow, especially the top grade willow, is really the best quality money can buy. The wood is straight-grained. Expect no more than minor blemishes from top grade English willow – as is natural with any willow. For the more expensive bats, bat-makers take care to select the finest unbleached, naturally seasoned willow with the least amount of blemishes. (see section on bat making).
Kashmir willow is generally regarded as inferior to English willow. It is also true that Kashmir willow is sometimes heavier than its English counterpart. As you might expect, Kashmir willow is not the same level as top-grade English willow in grain quality and structure.
But Kashmir willow bats offer great value. Some might argue that the top quality Kashmir willow bats are better than Grade 3 or 4 English willow counterparts. The Kashmir willow bats we have picked are of top-quality. It is not unusual for club level cricketers in countries like India and Sri Lanka to use bats made from Kashmir willow for their regular game.
In summary, while we fully recommend Grade 1 or Grade 2 English willow for cricketers who are not beginners, we feel that a good quality Kashmir willow may be the right bat for the beginner. In fact, we always recommend a Kashmir willow bat over a Grade 3 or Grade 4 English willow whether it is for a beginner or for an intermediate-level middle order or lower batsman in need for a good bat. We always recommend a Kashmir willow practice bat even for the most advanced batsman.