20 years in the sports trade, 15 years of handcrafting top cricket bats
and I still love what I do.
My name is David Phillip van der Walt and sport has always been a huge part of my life. As a junior I played four different sports at provincial level, and 2 at SA level. I was always fortunate enough to have parents and a school that encouraged and supported me with equipment and tour fees.
As a senior I played 3 provincial sports, one of them being cricket. After my National service, I worked at LF Palmer sports in Johannesburg, for ex-Springbok cricketers John Waite and Syd Olynn. Through them, I was privileged to learn a great deal about the sports trade.
I then moved down to Cape Town and worked for Ian Trott at Varsity Sports – another specialist sport shop.
In 1994, I spent my first of many summers in the UK and Ireland as a cricket pro at various Clubs. On my first trip, I completed an apprenticeship at Hunts County Bats. I will forever be grateful for being taught all aspects of bat making and repairs from a group of very experienced staff.
On my return to Cape Town in 1994, I started a business called Bat Man. This company brought in a range of pads and gloves branded with my initials, DP.
I have made and repaired cricket bats for a huge number of International cricketers over the past 15 years. It is always good to meet and shape bats for international players, but I find it exceptionally rewarding to see a youngsters expression when I complete his FIRST CUSTOM MADE CRICKET BAT.
Cecil Fundili Kulu hails from the Eastern Cape and has a love for cricket and football. His grandfather taught him the art of hand making furniture, and with this specialized skill, it was a blessing that he joined me 4 years ago.
He is as passionate about timber as I am and has exceeded my expectations with his skills, dedication and love for the art of bat making.
Cecil’s main focus in on the repairs, sanding and finishing of the bats. Cecil may be the first and only person I teach to hand craft cricket bats – as I don’t want the art of hand crafting bats to die with me.
We both love what we do and will continue to make the best handcrafted bats for years to come.