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About 10 years ago, I read an article in (possibly) the now defunct Cricket Talk magazine, about a guy in Australia who built cricket bats with bent handles. The bent handle helped keep the ball down when driving, because the face of the bat was naturally angled downwards. Supposedly, a batsman in the Australian domestic shield (perhaps Simon Katich), even used it to make a century.

What became of this bat design? Is it legal? If it is, why isn't it more widely used? Did such a bat ever exist at all?

Sorry there are no references...like I said, this is an article in an out-of-print magazine that I'm now recalling from memory.

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I know this reply is a few years after your enquiry, but I think you're referring to the 'Angle Drive' handle, which was a concept by Len Richardson.

The handle was set a few degrees (1-3?) further back 'behind' the face of the bat. The theory behind it (as I understand) was to ensure the hands were a bit further back behind the blade, compared to a bat with a traditional angle handle, and this meant there was less likelihood of hitting the ball in the air.

From memory, Sommers had an Angle Drive model many years ago, but I'm not sure how long it lasted.

It is definitely legal according to the Laws of Cricket, but as to why it didn't gain wide-spread acceptance, I guess Len could answer that for you.

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I am not familiar with the anecdote, however the laws of cricket state that the handle must be straight

It is a straight shaft for holding the bat.

From The Laws of Cricket.

On the other hand there doesn't appear to be any restriction on the face of the bat curving and from personal experience and from watching games most modern bats seem to be curved, but in the opposite direction from what you suggest, i.e. the face curves gently towards the direction of the bowler when held in a regular batting stance.

One additional point is that I can't see anywhere in the laws that demand that the join of the handle and the bat be straight, just that the handle itself be straight. However, from a bat construction and transfer of force between hands and ball perspective, you wouldn't want to have anything other than a straight join of the handle and bat.

Anyway, these days everyone wants to play T20 and hit sixes, so this kind of design would probably not be popular even if it were legal.

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    T20 is the only format where this wouldn't be popular. And this sort of design only keeps the ball down while driving; hitting cross-batted or lofted shots wouldn't necessarily be affected. Thanks for the reference to the laws though. Such a design would be illegal unless handle join itself was at an angle. – Jay Sep 14 '12 at 6:43
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Iam here with my Brother Len Richardson Before Len got the patent for Angle Drive He Approached the MCC and got Approval for this bat design.
The Bat is a legal design they use this design in limited overs with the blade facing the opposite way Angle drive was really meant for for test matches it was to decrease catches because it hit the ball to the ground . Len Proved with a normal bat at 20 metres you would catch the ball at waist height Using Angle drive with the same shot The ball would be hitting the ground before the fielder. All the Best from Len Richardson inventor angle Drive

  • Thanks for sharing and welcome to the community! If you have any references, such as articles, photos, or videos, about that demonstration by Len, that would be really awesome. Sorry someone apparently downvoted you for no reason - I promise we're not all that mean :-) – Jay May 5 at 7:26

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