Crackit bat a real King hit
HE certainly has the look, and now he has the wares to go with it.
Former NSW and Kangaroo rugby league three-quarter Matt King has turned inventor, fashioning a unique sporting good to go with his wild hair style.
He calls it The Crackit.
A lightweight cricket bat-shaped tool strung like a tennis racket and designed for big-hitting.
And the dual-hemisphere premiership winner is serious about it – he’s had a prototype constructed by Manchester’s The Fab Lab.
“It’s something that has been cooking in my mind for a few years,” Mr King told Rugby League Week.
“I’m getting towards the end of my career now and I thought it’d be good to see if I could get it off the ground.”
King, 29, has one full year to run on his contract with English Super League Club Warrington, and he revealed concocting and crafting as a good release from the rigours of first-grade footy.
“It’s my first invention and it’s been pretty exciting – it’s totally different to thinking about footy all the time,” he said.
A few years in the making, The Crackit first came to the bushy-haired flyer while playing beach cricket with the family here on the Northern Rivers.
His younger sister, struggling to lug the regular cricket bat, turned to a tennis racket with a great success and somewhere under the afro an idea was born.
“My invention is not for proper cricket, but for leisure cricket,” he said.
“It’s lightweight and a fun piece of equipment that anyone can play.”
The one-time cult hero has already begun sorting his Warrington team-mates in preparation for a Crackit test match.
King will lead the ANZACs - Michael Monaghan, Chris Hicks, David Solomona and the Anderson brothers, Vinnie and Louie, against a team of Poms.
King’s mother Narelle, who still lives locally, loves her son’s invention but muses that it came a few decades late.
“Every year at Christmas time I would walk my feet off looking for a plastic cricket bat for the boys to play in the hall,” Mrs King said.
“If I didn’t they would just sneak the real bat inside which caused all sorts of damage. If only we had the Crackit back then.”
The first batch of Crackits is currently being manufactured and should roll off the production line in coming weeks.
“There is a long way to go, but if it takes off it will be great,” King said.
The nine-time NSW Blue is currently enjoying his time in England scoring plenty of tries with the Wolves on a contract that has him locked in until the end of 2011.
At that time King has an option in his favour which could see him stay on, retire, or come home for an NRL Swansong. Fingers crossed!