By Bob Ludlam
Last week we visited Gray-Nicolls in leafy Sussex to pick out our first batch of cricket bats for the 2016 season.
Having worked for Gray-Nicolls for 20 years, it was a bit “all our yesterdays” but the changes that the company have made in the past ten years are very impressive.
Long gone are the outbuildings that housed various workplaces and warehouses; they’ve been replaced by state of the art sales offices, meeting rooms, marketing and photography areas, and even a nice new modern kitchen where I enjoyed a nice refreshing cuppa on arrival.
Gray-Nicolls Cricket 2016 consists of an excellent mix of new and current models which cover the whole spectrum and any customer should be able to find the right model to suit them.
Gray-Nicolls Cricket Bats 2016
The new kids on the block are Supernova and a re-vamped Powerbow, which is now in its fifth incarnation and aptly named Powerbow 5. These modern cricket bats are pitched alongside their Classic Collection, as used by their current stable of England Players in the Test series in the UAE, which comprise Prestige, Players, Select and a cricket bat that David Gower and I once used back in the day – the GN500.
Their best-selling Omega and F18 ranges remain alongside the quirky Lucky 7 and Kaboom, used by Peter Trego and David Warner respectively.
As always, Gray-Nicolls are presented superbly with top-class graphics and decals that look good and stay stuck in place!
Why Cricket Direct customers will get the best
My colleagues and I wandered around the many bays of Gray-Nicolls cricket bats looking for the gems that we know our customers demand – good grains, great pick-ups and a range of weights that befit each model.
The Gray-Nicolls Dream Team
After another cuppa in the new showroom where many of the Gray-Nicolls players cricket bats are housed, I met some old work mates, including veteran bat maker John, who is a master of his craft and still oversees the bat making processes.
John has passed on his expertise to Chris and Alex who are very capable young men who share his passion, drive and commitment to the rapidly dying art of traditional bat making.
Richard B is still there sorting out returns, while Jason came out of his office to advise me that he is now a proud father – and his wife works in the sales office.
The Cricket Direct trio went back to work choosing and carefully examining each Gray-Nicolls cricket bat that we have ordered – and the expertise and knowledge of Craig was invaluable at this vital stage of the process as he oversees the thousands of cricket bats that Grays have in stock.
One of the jewels in the crown was this superb AC630 Test model that carries the Alastair Cook signature, which is available at Cricket Direct now.
A Good Day’s Work
Finally, as I left the warehouse, I spotted one of our customer’s cricket bats being made. The below Kaboom Long Blade profile will soon be winging its way to the lucky customer who I can assure will get a beautiful cricket bat, hand-crafted at one the finest cricket companies in the trade.
As we drove north on the A21, my colleagues started eulogising about what they had witnessed, as they both love their cricket. We returned to the Cricket Direct premises comforted by the fact that our customers will be getting exceptional quality and value for money if they decide to purchase a 2016 Gray-Nicolls cricket bat this season. View the range today.