Bat review: Neon Sky

Bright enough to solve a bad light situation, you'd sooner have the last laugh once meeting a half-volley with one of the best middles tested in this year's selection

br23-neon

RRP: £484.99, Weight: 2lb 10oz, Edges: 34mm

A real winner on testing day – and not just because of its bright colours on an otherwise dank, miserable March morning.

Ian Bell, the great England batsman, wouldn't put his name to any old piece of kit, and he appears to have chosen well here with a bat that impressed every judge in the room.

Garish and – the clue's in the name – neon, you'd be a confident cricketer to walk out to the middle with such a fluorescent stick in the heat of club-cricket battle.

Bright enough to solve a bad light situation, you'd sooner have the last laugh once meeting a half-volley with one of the best middles tested in this year's selection.

"The colours are gorgeous and it just has a lovely profile," said another former England man, Rikki Clarke.

fl23-neon

"In a way," he added, "it's similar to the Newbery with its nice grains. It has a really good middle. To be honest, it's just all you want from a bat."

Nick Friend, one of The Cricketer's resident journalist-come-testers, added his own praise to the sweet spot, as well as its "balanced pick-up and quite forgiving nature away from the middle".

He joked: "I'd never walk out to bat with one, though!"

If there's a downside, the price is restrictive, coming in at £484 – and actually with less depth on the edges (down at 34mm) than some of the others on show.

Other than that, you'd be looking pretty in pink.

Initial impression: 7.9

Build quality: 8.1

Pick-up/feel: 8.1

Performance: 8.5

Overall score: 8.2

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