AN Australian cricket player is spending the summer in Malton to learn the skilled craft of making bespoke bats.

Caleb Grant, who lives in Melbourne, found out about Nixon Handmade Cricket Bats in Spital Street, through a video on YouTube.

Owner Nick Nixon and his team make cricket bats along with balls, stumps and team clothing.

Originally a farm worker, Nick said he has always played cricket and through repairing bats became more interested in the science behind it.

“I found it really intriguing and visited bat factories in West Yorkshire where I asked lots of questions and as time went on I taught myself how to make them,” he said.

“It is a very skilled craft as they are all hand-shaped and we make bespoke bats for local cricketers, including young players, and also international cricketers.

“I pride myself on being local but there are not many countries which I haven’t supplied.

“There is nothing more rewarding than a young cricketer’s game being improved by a Nixon bat.”

Nick has been joined by 25-year-old Caleb, who is spending his second summer in the country.

Caleb said he was an enthusiastic cricketer and was also learning to use the onsite machinery to create bespoke bats.

“I saw Nick’s video on YouTube and was impressed,” he said.

“We see a variety of people in the workshop, and they can see their bat being made from a piece of willow through to the finished product.”

With the 2013 cricket season underway, Nick said he and his team were busy with orders for his willow-made bats, which are produced on the premises in an hour or two.

“We have very loyal core customer-base, including local players and teams. We do get some famous cricketers through our doors, including Collis King, who currently plays for Dunnington, but has played for the West Indies, the Caribbean All Stars, Natal - South Africa, Glamorgan and Worcester,” he said.

“Cricket has an international standing, and our premises here in Spital Street will certainly continue to make itself felt.”