White Ferns and Canterbury Magicians player Frances Mackay openly confesses to being ‘a bit of a cricket tragic’ so when the opportunity arose to see how the bat making process is done, she jumped.
The 22 year-old has been in Napier this week with bat making company Laver & Wood. After doing various Tests, they’ve helped Mackay to develop a bat specific to her needs, teaching her the complexities of the procedure along the way.
Her visit has involved learning everything, from how to knock the bat in correctly to the company’s sales approach. Mackay said the whole experience had been fascinating and was looking forward to using her new bat.
“Anything cricket is of interest to me and this is just another branch of it,” said Mackay.
“Finding out about the length of the blade, the length of the handle, the weight and different types of grain – they all have an influence on the overall product so it’s been fun mucking around to see what works.
“It became pretty clear that lighter bats are better for me, so we’ve made it like that and I’m excited to be able to use it in a net tonight. It looks like a pretty awesome bit of wood.”
“Laver & Wood have been amazing throughout it and been really patient with any questions I’ve had. My sponsor Kookaburra were really good about letting me come too, so I’ve been really privileged to have had this opportunity.”
Mackay treasures her bats and has had the same one for the last six years, having repaired it close to 10 times. By the sound of it, she might have a new favourite and will definitely be taking it to the West Indies with the White Ferns.
The team leave for their tour 4 October.