It was Under 15 final, 2020 at Sano International Cricket Ground (SICG) between Sano Braves and Tokyo Falcons (Jr.). The first ever Woodstock cricket bat to be used in Japan - Woodstock Airstream Platinum was on display!
What does it mean for a cricket batsman, especially a junior batsman, to hold a good grade willow bat in his hand?
Though the match was between Under 15 teams, there were players as young as 11 years old playing the match. The mighty Sano Braves had a go at batting first and ended their innings for 167/9 in 20 overs. The Falcons didn't have a great start losing their main batsmen towards the start of the innings. There was one 12 year old Falcons player whose main role being a bowler, but holding his new Woodstock Airstream bat, looking at the things happening in the middle as one after another of his team mates returned from the middle.
The 12 year old had his turn to face the mighty Sano Brave bowlers. Excited to hold his new Woodstock Airstream Platinum bat as well as sad to realize the match was slipping our of Falcons' grasp - he took strike reluctantly thinking hitting fours and sixes was just not what he was destined to do! He pulled one of the balls and to his surprise the ball raced away to Deep Fine Leg boundary. That gave him a lot of confidence. He tried it again after a few balls and got the same result. He tried square drive and again it was a boundary. He did it twice more! He kept looking at the bat thinking whether it was just luck or was that his new Grade 1 English willow bat doing the magic! He ended up scoring 25 off 19 balls with 5 boundaries - maximum number of boundaries he hit in a match since he started playing cricket - after all he was just 12!
Here is a snap from the match with him in action with his Woodstock Airstream Platinum bat.
Club/League: Tokyo Falcons Juniors U15, MIB Juniors U19
Favourite shot: Pulling to Deep Fine Leg boundary, Square drive
Best innings this year: 25 runs off 19 balls in U15 final against Sano Braves. For the first time I hit 5 boundaries in a match!
Why do I use Woodstock? I like light bats. My Woodstock Airstream is very light. Even though it is very light, the ping is amazing. The sound of the ping is so good. I love seeing ball rushing to boundary.
Could it be just luck for him, could it be his new bat? Your views and comments are welcome!