Since 1990 the Salix Cricket Bat Company has been handcrafting bats to the highest quality from our workshops in the heart of Kent. Founder and owner, Andrew Kember utilises his extensive knowledge and experience to craft and innovate exquisite bats with strong presence, style and power. Salix bats are, therefore, not just conventional bat making, but the culmination of years of experience, development and investment to inspire and reward the most discerning and demanding players.
About the Process
Salix is not a mass-production business. There are no mass production machines churning out bats. From its creation Salix have been committed to meticulously handcrafting bats from cleft to finish.
Arguably the most vital part of Salix bat production is the pressing. Andrew himself designed and commissioned the press. This unique piece of machinery is hydraulically driven to achieve a consistently good and durable playing surface. Hydraulic pressing ensures the speed of pressing can be adjusted to suit each piece of wood. This enables individual assessment over each blade. Therefore, each and every bat made benefits from the greatest playability, performance and the perfect ‘ping’.
The Salix workshop remains the creative hub of Andrew Kember. Through Andrew’s extensive knowledge and hard earned experience a Salix bat has become much prized.
In 2014 Andrew was invited to speak on behalf of cricket manufacturers at the MCC World Cricket Committee about the balance between bat and ball – initial consultations which led eventually to the recent changes in bat profile dimensions. Speaking in front of this illustrious panel was a huge honour and followed our involvement in the MCC consultations to revise Law 6 a decade ago, when ‘Type A’ was first introduced.
In 2017 he was recognised as a ‘Living National Treasure’ in a special series about heritage craftspeople in Country Life magazine.
Andrew continues his life’s passion of creating the best cricket bats, innovating and refining the bat making process to create new and exciting bats with the best performance. This is now evident in the launch of ACID.
One of the only people to be creating junior bats by hand in England, Andrew took the process of making Salix Junior bats, refined since 1991, as an inspiration and has used his expertise to launch the new ACID range.
Andrew’s partner is Kel. Having never handled a bat until 2020, Kel can now machine, handmake, sand, rasp, bind, polish and label flawlessly. Andrew describes her as a natural.
Andrew may have over 40 years of experience which enables him to belt sand a blade with seemingly breath-taking ease and finesse, but without Kel production speed would be greatly compromised.
Kel’s keen eye for detail is particularly evident in the way the bats are finished to perfection and then she oversees dispatch with care.
Kel is also the main contact for after sales care.
There from the beginning, Hugh and Andrew got Salix moving.
Hugh, a fine cricketer, has and still specialises in willow production and handle fitting.
The team may be small, but we produce and sell thousands of high quality bats every year.
…nothing is made like a Salix, looks like a Salix, or plays like a Salix…