Mark O’Neill “Squirrel” Bat grip now available to all cricketers
It has taken some time determining the final design of the unique Mark O’Neill squirrel bat grip, but the wait has been worth it, with a design that will see many more runs scored by users of the grip.
Daniel Hughes with new grip
An article in the Daily Telegraph before the recent NSW vs WA Shield game described how Test hopeful Daniel Hughes was using a quote: “rarely used piece of equipment that Hughes believes has helped revolutionise his ability to smash balls to the fence”. Unquote.
He was of course referring to the “Squirrel” grip which has now been commercially released through Mark O’Neill’s Simply Cricket Company and is available for purchase at the Greg Chappell Cricket Centre in Alexandria in Sydney. The Centre, at its new address of 106/35 Moody Street Alexandria, (phone 1800469928) have the tooling set up to apply the grip to any bat.
In addition to Daniel, Australian Women’s Vice Captain Alex Blackwell uses the grip and has found it very helpful, as well as NSW mens squad member Jay Lenton.
Alex Blackwell gives the thumbs up to the new grip
The original prototype, which has now been improved with extensive testing, was used by both Shane Watson and Brad Haddin.
So what makes it unique?
The grip is designed with over 3,600 diamond shaped “nurlings” that are moulded to the surface as well the important raised moulded strip that forms an integral part of the grip. The main benefit of the moulded strip is that it is applied in a straight but slightly offset position to allow the batsman to be always holding the bat in the correct position. The grip also lasts 3 to 4 times longer than a standard grip and therefore doesn’t have to be regularly removed.
Why is holding the bat in the correct position important?
A view of the grip plus the correct way to hold it as demonstrated by Mark
Even our Australian captain Steve Smith mentioned in an article in the Weekend Australian on November 4 that he sometimes forgot how to hold the bat. Kiwi cricket legend John Wright suggested he glue his glove to the bat so it didn’t move. Maybe a little radical, but the same concept applies. Hold the bat the same correct way every time and while it won’t make you an immediate success as a batman, it gives you the assurance to know you can work on your balance and weight transference with more confidence.
Importantly Mark has both approval from the MCC for the grip’s use on a worldwide basis as well as patents in every cricketing country for manufacture of the grip.
The grip also is not designed simply for elite players. Mark says that it is vital for young players (8,9,10) when they are starting out in the game to learn both how to hold the bat correctly and then to use the grip to give them constant guidance. That initial enjoyment of our young cricketers being taught properly and realising they can bat well is important to keep these youngsters in the game and not allow them to drift off to other sports.While the grips can be purchased at the Greg Chappell Centre, Mark is very willing to come out to any club who would like a demonstration of the grip and arrange for the application of the grips to fit with any club player requirements. If you would like to communicate directly with Mark about a club or group opportunity contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The cost of the grip is $50, which is a bit more than a standard grip. But what is walking off the ground knowing how well you batted worth? I would have paid $50 per match!
The Mark O’Neill Simply Cricket website and twitter feed are coming soon, but you can find the Facebook page which is called Squirrel Cricket.
So if you are a junior cricketer, a keen “park” cricketer, a shires or grade cricketer or a representative player the squirrel grip will help your game. Get moving now and get ahead of the rest.