When a renowned player bats exceptionally well in a big match or plays a memorable innings, the bat which was used during the knock becomes extremely coveted by fans, collectors and investors alike.
Thus, whenever these hallowed pieces of willow come up for sale or auction, they command immense interest and a premium price tag.
From Donald Bradman’s history-making bat in the 1934 Ashes series to MS Dhoni’s 2011 World Cup-winning willow with which he hit the ‘winning six’, here are the most expensive cricket bats in the history of the sport
Most expensive cricket bats
|Price (in INR)
|1934 Ashes series
|2011 World Cup final
|1968 County Championship
|1958 series vs Pakistan
|2011 World Cup
Donald Bradman’s bat - 1934 Ashes series
Former Australian batter Don Bradman, who is revered as one of the greatest batters to have graced the sport, played an instrumental role in his team’s 2-1 Ashes series win in 1934.
Bradman smashed a triple century (304) and a double ton (244) in the fourth and fifth match of that series, respectively. Moreover, he used the same bat in his 451-run partnership with Bill Ponsford in the fifth Test to record one of the highest partnerships in Test cricket history.
The blade was sold for INR 1,90,00,000 to a private buyer during an online auction in December 2021.
In fact, the piece of willow has Bradman’s signature on it along with a comment which reads, “This is the bat with which I scored 304 at Leeds and 244 at The Oval against England, 1934.”
MS Dhoni’s bat - 2011 World Cup final
MS Dhoni, India’s 2011 World Cup-winning captain, hit a huge match-winning six in the final as Team India lifted the coveted trophy for only the second time in the competition’s history.
With a plethora of emotions attached to the moment, the bat was destined to draw top dollars when it was put up for auction.
In July 2021, the blade fetched a sum of INR 72,00,000 from RK Global Share and Securities Ltd., an investment group, at MS Dhoni’s ‘East Meets West’ Charity Dinner in London, making it one of the most expensive cricket bats.
Gary Sobers’ bat - 1968 vs Glamorgan
The West Indies batter became the first player to hit six sixes in an over when he achieved the feat in the 1968 County Championship match while playing for Nottinghamshire against Glamorgan.
The blade with which he used to take bowler Malcolm Nash to the cleaners was sold for INR 36,89,476 in an auction in 2000.
Gary Sobers’ bat - 1958 series vs Pakistan
In the third Test of the Pakistan tour of West Indies 1958, Garry Sobers played a marathon innings of 365*, the then record for the highest individual scores in Tests. The knock also helped the West Indies win the match by a massive margin of an innings and 174 runs.
The bat which he used for his knock was sold for roughly INR 32,28,300 to an unnamed buyer in an auction in 2000.
Team India signed bat - 2011 World Cup
The Indian cricket team won the 2011 World Cup under the leadership of MS Dhoni.
A bat, signed by the entire team, went under the hammer at the non-fungible token (NFT) auction in Dubai in December 2021, where it was sold for a price INR 18,76,000.
The MS Dhoni-led side defeated Sri Lanka by six wickets in the final to lift their second 50-over World Cup title and the first in 28 years.
Photo credit: Alamy