LOCAL cricketers now have the option to have their own personalised handcrafted bat, after two cricket enthusiasts became accredited bat makers recently.
Phillip Island’s Scott Boyack and Moyarra’s Andrew O’Hoy completed a five-day extensive course in cricket bat making led by former first class cricketer Ian Callen in April, and have learnt the craft of manufacturing handmade bats.
They are now producing their own cricket bats for purchase.
The English Willow timber is 100 per cent Australian grown and clefts of the willow are purchased from Callen’s business, Willow Blue.
The bat handle is glued into the blade and the handle is shaped, before the timber is worked down with hand tools.
The process is completed by hand, aside from the use of an electric sander.
A self-confessed cricket lover and stalwart of the Phillip Island and District Cricket Club, Boyack comes from a carpentry background and has loved every minute of his newfound hobby.
“I’ve always been interested in cricket and cricket bats, and it’s an advantage being in a trade so I’d used a lot of the tools before and I picked up the skills pretty quickly,” he said.
“I come home from work and spend a few hours in the shed and really enjoy it, particularly the shaping.”
Boyack went home with 10 completed bats after the course and is now creating new bats and repairing preloved bats.
He said the repairs have provided a good challenge.
“I got a bat which most blokes would just chuck out but the guy’s got a young family and didn’t want to have to fork out for a new bat,” he said.
“I’ll sand it back and do a weight reduction, with new stickers and grip.”
Boyack has developed his own brand, Yakka Cricket, and already has orders for bats from cricketers across the Leongatha and District Cricket Association.
“When I started the course I had no ambition of being a professional bat maker, but jeez it would be a pretty good job to have, so we’ll see what happens,” he said.
A qualified accountant, O’Hoy came into the course with little trade background, but with the expert help and support from Callen, he quickly picked up the craft.
Now, he has scaled back his accountancy work and is focusing on his new business, Lyrebird Cricket, producing bats for cricketers across Gippsland and south eastern Melbourne.
He said has received great support from local cricketers so far.
“It’s been a fast learning curve and I’m really enjoying it – the results are coming now,” he said.
“I’ve got a shedload of equipment now and I’m ready to go. It’s about getting out there and getting the name known by going around
O’Hoy will take delivery of English Willow grown in Mirboo North soon, making his bats completely locally sourced and produced.
For more information and to express interest in a Lyrebird Cricket bat, visit www.lyrebirdcricket.com.au or like Lyrebird Cricket Gippsland Handcrafted Bats on Facebook.
For more information and to express interest in a Yakka Cricket bat, visit www.yakkacricket.wixsite.com/yakkacricket or like Yakka Cricket on Facebook.
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