Callen Cricket began as Ian Callen Sports in 1981. Ian sold that business in 1985 to concentrate on making a range of three bats, the MX, the K-IX and the Aussie Boomah.
Callen Cricket has gone through many phases over the 35 years Ian has been making his bats.
With the help of his father Lloyd and mother Norma on the farm at Rhyll Phillip Island the first Callen workshop was established in converted dairy shed. Much of the Machinery was made up by Lloyd which Ian still uses today.
Ian, Lloyd and Norma continued to work together to grow cricket bat willow. They'd researched A.C. MacLaren the English Test Captain and his influence on once a thriving cricket bat willow industry in Australia. MacLaren had sent cricket bat willow cuttings to Australia in 1902 and Ian had located some trees grown from that stock near Stacys Bridge in Gippsland.
With the Shire of Healesville approving what was to become the A.C. MacLaren Plantation Ian relocated to East Ringwood to be closer to the plantation site. Times have not always been easy but Ian and Lloyd stuck it out where others have fallen away.
Today Ian and his wife Susan manage Callen Cricket and the sustainable renewable and socio-economic Willow Blue Cricket Forestry industry that is now supplying English Willow to Bat Makers throughout Australia and New Zealand.
New plantations are being planted all over Australia and this will ensure the resilient lasting qualities of the English Willow rootstock "Salix Alba Careulea" that A.C. MacLaren selected and shipped to Australia in 1902 is retained.
** Archie who honeymooned at Healesville in 1895 with Maude had chosen and recommended the Yarra River / Watts River flats site we now call the A.C.MacLaren Plantation during the Australia v England Test series of 1895. In that year Archie had achieved the highest 1st class score of 424, was captain of Lancashire, had scored his first Test Century and was Wisden's Cricketer of the Year.
The English Willow we use in our bats is grown by Willow Blue in Australia.
Only Willow Blue Accredited Bat Makers have access to this timber.
Willow Plantations are compliant with all local government and environmental regulations and Permits
When choosing a bat from an accredited Willow Blue Bat Maker you can be assured he has completed a Bat Making course conducted by Ian Callen... the only Bat Maker in the world to have played Test Cricket.
His Australian Test Player Number is 291.
All Willow Blue Bat Makers hand crafted their bats and they have a unique understanding of the cricket bat and the industry.
"In my opinion 35 years of making crickets I have found Willow Blue timber to have amazing resilience density and strength that provides superior rebound qualities than our competition."
When purchasing a hand crafted Willow Blue Cricket Bat you will not be paying; merchant fees, import duty, freight, shipping charges, handling fees, currency fluctuations,
Marketing or pay for play costs... that is because we have our own industry now!