A. C. MacLaren

About Us

Growing English Willow for cricket bats in Australia is not a new idea. 

Cricket Bat Willow had been sent to Australia in 1902 by the English Test Captain, Archie MacLaren to Bob Crockett (Test Umpire & Bat Repairer). Archie had told Crockett that whilst honeymooning at Healesville he had seen a score of suitable localities along the The Yarra River flats. 

Crockett accepted the English Willow but planted at Shepherds Flat near Daylesford and although it produced bats for Australian Test players it was eventually cut down when the business was sold to Dunlop Slazenger.

This put an end to an Australian Cricket Willow industry until the discovery of MacLaren's original progeny and the establishment of a nursery with the vision to rebuild the industry as MacLaren had envisaged. 

However the task was not that easy; environmentalists who believed English Willow had naturalized the Australian waterways were objecting... It wasn't until 1994 that Planting Permits were issued (9 years later).

Others were saying English Willow could not be grown anywhere but England and it was a waste of time; 

Cricket Brands and Sports Stores refused to support the idea of an Australian Cricket industry. 

Even when the first of the timber processing began Cricket Brands refused to introduce a range of our "WillowBlue" English Willow.

So Ian began training WillowBlue Bat Makers (click here for list of Bat Maker) to pass on the skills and grow the industry. 

Enter (the late) Romesh Kohli of "Beat All Sports" (BAS) India our first international customer (BAS were makers of the Virat Kohli's MRF Bat).  Romesh gave Ian the specifications to make two bats to give to Kohli for use and later told him that Kohli had hit two double hundreds with his bat.

"WillowBlue" is now a registered trademark for English Willow and is being exported to International markets.

'WillowBlue" It's Australian for "English Willow"‚Äč