As many of you lot know, I'm a fan of cricket and all things involving dressing up in white, in the middle of summer and running round on a pitch, chasing after a small, red leather ball while trying to get as dirty as possible.
Practice has been going well this year - I've only had 1 bruise so far in 4 training sessions (that's probably tempting providence though :P) And the 2-hours a week is certainly leaving me with good expectations for the coming year.
I have hit a small problem though - the main tool of my batting arsenal has finally given up the ghost. I was feeling quite good in the nets, batting reasonably well, by my standards, and I was given a chance to really hit one on a pull to my left. The general sound of a good shot is a solid wooden 'thwack', usually accompanied by the bulging of the net and my ego. The net bulged, but me ego didn't, as I heard a decidedly wooden splintering noise... I retrieved the ball and tossed it back, only then consulting my obviously wounded weapon. See the pictures below for the damage.
The split from the front to the back also took with it the armour tape, which probably had kept it together for some time. While I'm quite impressed to be able to break a bat, just by hitting a ball, I'm also dismayed, because the bill for a new bat is going to be quite high. This last one cost me £30 over 3 years previously. For a quality bat, I'm talking somewhere in the region of £50, so that's a $110 bill if you'd like to factor that in across the pond.
How much do quality wooden baseball bats cost these days? I suppose that they should be cheaper, as they don't take so much to make, being all one piece, with maybe a cloth or tape grip. Cricket bats have at least 3 pieces, in the handle, body and grip, with an optional protective coating over the face, which got split on mine.
It had served me well over the past 3 years, though I wish I had served it better, by scoring more runs. In the end, the runs scored was 147 from this fine piece of willow in three years. I know that might not sound like much, but I'm intending to put behind me the problems that were caused by the number of ducks (0s) scored with that bat, when the new one arrives.