Roland Butcher bats
The bats seen on display here.

The long-awaited Roland Butcher Cricket Training Bats were launched at the famous Lord’s Cricket Ground in London recently. The bats have been specially designed to tackle a technical problem that plagued the ex-English cricketer throughout his 20-year professional career.

“Throughout my career I had a technical problem with the balls that came into the right-handed batsman, and I had great difficulty in correcting this problem throughout my career,” explained Butcher. “Once I had retired this continued to weigh heavily on my mind and I started investigating different ways to solve the problem. This problem was solved by designing a bat that corrected this technical flaw. I firmly believe that my new training bat will help all current and future cricketers develop the batting skills and techniques required to be successful in their elite careers.”

Butcher was the first black cricketer to be selected to play for England and had an illustrious career, which included playing for Middlesex County Cricket Club.

The first bat he designed was aimed at mastering the in-swinging and off spin deliveries that right-handed batsmen typically face. Once he was completely satisfied with the design, size, weight and balance he then sent it for rigorous scientific testing, which produced exceptional results.

But his research did not stop there. It then occurred to him that the oppose must also be true for players who have difficulty playing the ball that moves or spins away from the right-handed batsman. The second bat was designed to master the away swing and leg spin deliveries.

“In relation to the first two bats that were designed for the right-handed batsman, there are equivalent bats reversed for the left-handed batsman,” said Butcher.

The third and final training bat in his series is designed for mastering the playing of spin, fast bowling and concentration.

Roland Butcher bats
Ex-England and Middlesex player Roland Butcher (third from left), with former England and Middlesex player and current Director of Development for Middlesex, Angus Fraser, Ex-England cricket player and current batting consultant for Middlesex, Mark Ramprakash and current England and Middlesex player Sam Robson.

“Whilst designing my bats I was a High-Performance Coach with the International Cricket Council (ICC) under ICC High Performance Head Coach Bob Woolmer, the former England player and South Africa and Pakistan Head Coach. Bob advised me to have the bats scientifically tested”, explains Butcher.

And in 2002, Butcher registered the three bat inventions with the patent office, and they were sent to Loughborough University for testing. Loughborough University is one of the most advanced Universities in the world of Science and Technology in Sport. The scientific study and testing were conducted by the Wolfson School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering at the same University.

The process took two years to complete, and in 2004 Butcher was handed a complete and comprehensive thesis. “The thesis from Loughborough University confirmed scientifically that all the bats worked and produced the exact results I was anticipating. Not only that, but it proved that the batter’s performance was significantly improved!”

The results also confirmed that the training bats improved the accuracy of the bowlers significantly. “This result was a pleasant surprise as I had designed the bats exclusively for batting,” concluded Butcher.

The bats are now being manufactured by Stone Hill and distributed by B3Cricket