Kashmir Willow vs English Willow
If you have interest in the game of cricket, you know that the bats used in the game are made from two types of woods, the Kashmir willow and English willow. Kashmir willow is the name of the wood that comes from willow trees found in Kashmir (both Indian as well as Pakistani). On the other hand, English willow is wood that is grown especially for the manufacture of cricket bats. Willow is found elsewhere in world too, but it is willow grown in England and Kashmir that is famous, because of its use in manufacture of cricket bats. However, the two types of willows are not same and there are some differences that will be highlighted in this article.
OK, now that you know that the willow produced in England is called English willow, how do you tell the difference if you get to see both English as well as Kashmir willow? Well, you see two bats in a shop and can tell immediately by the color tone if they are made in England or Kashmir. The one made in England is much whiter and much grainier than the bat made from Kashmir willow. A brownish bat indicates it is made of Kashmir willow with much less defined grains.
However, the differences run deeper than the skin color, and the English willow is softer than Kashmir willow, which is reflected in performance also. Cricket bats made of English willow are preferred by top batsmen around the world. However, this does not take away anything away from Kashmir willow, which is also world class as far as durable and better quality bats are concerned. Players who have played with both bats say that English willow bats are lighter in comparison to Kashmir willow. Though it is hard to substantiate this claim, there is a school of thought that says that while bats made from English willow are ideal for good batsmen, Kashmir willow is ideal for use for tailenders and budding cricketers.
Of late, Kashmir government has banned export of Kashmir willow forcing some manufacturers to set up shop in Kashmir valley itself. In England, willow is meant for use in cricket bats only, whereas it is common for growers to sell the willow for use in making plywood also. Maintenance of willow is also not that high in Kashmir resulting in stockpiles of willow facing elements absorbing moisture. This makes clefts of Kashmir willow bats prone to cracking which is not the case with English willow bats.
What is the difference between Kashmir Willow and English Willow?
• English willow is whiter in color and grainy in appearance, whereas Kashmir willow is brownish in color and less grainy
• English willow is more expensive than Kashmir willow
• English willow is much softer than Kashmir willow