Gray-Nicolls was formed in the 1940’s at the merger of two well-known cricket bat manufacturers, H.J. Gray and Sons and L.J. Nicolls. At this time, the company also acquired the famous brands of Shaw & Shrewsbury and Wainwrights, and England captain Wally Hammond and Australian star Keith Miller began using Gray-Nicolls. The brand grew in stature in the 1950’s and 60’s, and at one stage the captains of all five test playing countries were using the now world-renown brand (Ted Dexter, Richie Benaud, Frank Worrell, John Reid and Trevor Goddard). In 1972, a new Gray-Nicolls factory was opened in Melbourne to supply the growing demand from the Australian and New Zealand markets. Gray-Nicolls remains the only brand to produce bats in the UK and Australia, and the only bat company to control the complete process from planting willow to delivering bats to international players like Matthew Hayden and Andrew Symonds.