Monday 1 December 2008

Objects of fetish (ii)

This is a thing of beauty. Millichamp & Hall make cricket bats at the county ground in Taunton, at the rate of about five per day. There's something timeless about that. You won't see too many M&H bats in the hands of international players, and if you do, you won't know it because their rather lovely logos will be peeled off and replaced by someone else's. 

Instead, some less traditional words - I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and call them words - than Millichamp and Hall will be buzzing around: Pellara, Incurza and Libro have been confirmed as the adidas range.  

adidas won't be making bats, but buying them in and stickering them. And what stickers they are. They're the product of selling into an information-overloaded age. They've been designed for minimal attention spans, for people who are used to looking at everything and nothing at the same time. 

Selling cricket bats has always been in part about selling illusions. But if you buy from manufacturers who employ their own batmakers you are almost always holding a bat shaped by the same tools and hands as the bats used by their pros. 

For most players, I think, bats are fetishistic things, taken out and looked at, held, touched. You invest emotions in them, when you buy them and when you use them. You need to feel connected to them. I've seen KP looking at his bats in the past. I know that look. He isn't going to be using anything from a factory job lot that's for sure, however much adidas are paying him. 

Nostalgia is rolled into it. M&H have this. Stuart Surridge will even sell you a Jumbo, and doesn't that baby look good after all these years? If Gray-Nicolls made a retro Scoop, I'd buy one just for old times sake - and so would Brian Lara. Well, Brian probably wouldn't have to pay for his. 

adidas will sell lots of bats, but I'm not sure they'll understand why. M&H won't sell as many, but I know which one I covet.

Related post: Objects of fetish (i) is here.


Jrod said...

I can't believe you linked to the harlequin, did you not see the make your own bat section on their site.

I found out a few weeks ago, you can go down their and talk to them directly, and they make the bat in front of you.

I have wanted an M&H since forever, which means before puma bought them out.

I cannot wait.

Jrod said...

Although, Charlie French is wooing me also now...

The Old Batsman said...

I should have written something about that - not only would it be a great day, but it's £50 cheaper than the adidas KP special.