Patented new bats tipped to improve batting performances

Source: Barbados Today
The long-awaited Roland Butcher Cricket Training Bats were launched at the famous Lord’s Cricket Ground in London recently. The bats have been specially designed to tackle a technical problem that plagued the ex-English cricketer throughout his 20-year professional career and is anticipated to help hundreds of cricketers in the future.

“Throughout my career, I had a technical problem with the balls that came into the right-handed batsman, and I had great difficulty in correcting this problem throughout my career,” explained Butcher. “Once I had retired this continued to weigh heavily on my mind and I started investigating different ways to solve the problem. This problem was solved by designing a bat that corrected this technical flaw. I firmly believe that my new training bat will help all current and future cricketers develop the batting skills and techniques required to be successful in their elite careers.”

Butcher, a Barbadian, was the first black cricketer to be selected to play for England and had an illustrious career, which included playing for Middlesex County Cricket Club. Butcher also played regional cricket for Barbados and served as an administrator for the Barbados Cricket Association for many years. Butcher was also head coach of the Sports Academy at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, as well as the director of sports. Butcher, a former footballer of note, was the pivotal figure in leading that institution into First Division Cricket in Barbados.

The first bat he designed was aimed at mastering the in-swinging and off-spin deliveries that right-handed batsmen typically face. Once he was completely satisfied with the design, size, weight and balance he then sent it for rigorous scientific testing, which produced exceptional results.

But his research did not stop there. It then occurred to him that the reverse must also be true for players who have difficulty playing the ball that moves or spins away from the right-handed batsman. The second bat was designed to master the away swing and leg spin deliveries.

“In relation to the first two bats that were designed for the right-handed batsman, there are equivalent bats reversed for the left-handed batsman,” said Butcher.

The third and final training bat in his series is designed for mastering the playing of spin, fast bowling and concentration.

“Whilst designing my bats I was a High-Performance Coach with the International Cricket Council (ICC) under ICC High-Performance Head Coach Bob Woolmer, the former England player and South Africa and Pakistan Head Coach. Bob advised me to have the bats scientifically tested”, explained Butcher.

And in 2002, Butcher registered the three bat inventions with the patent office, and they were sent to Loughborough University for testing. Loughborough University is one of the most advanced Universities in the world of Science and Technology in Sport. The scientific study and testing were conducted by the Wolfson School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering at the same University.

The process took two years to complete, and in 2004 Butcher was handed a complete and comprehensive thesis. “The thesis from Loughborough University confirmed scientifically that all the bats worked and produced the exact results I was anticipating. Not only that, but it proved that the batter’s performance was significantly improved!”

The results also confirmed that the training bats improved the accuracy of the bowlers significantly.

“This result was a pleasant surprise as I had designed the bats exclusively for batting,” concluded Butcher.

Among those attending the launch of the bats were: Ricky Skerritt, President of Cricket West Indies; Angus Fraser, ex-England and Middlesex player and current director of development for Middlesex; Mark Ramprakash ex-England and Middlesex player and current batting consultant for Middlesex; Jamie Cox, assistant secretary, Cricket, MCC; Barbadian Ricky Elcock, an ex-Middlesex and England player; and Sam Robson, current Middlesex and England player.

The bats are now being manufactured by Stone Hill and distributed by B3Cricket (PR)

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