I have gotten a few emails in the last few days regarding this so thought of writing this article to help answering those sort of questions.
There are two main types of willow of which cricket bats are made
1) English Willow
2) Kashmir Willow
English willow is grown in England (hard to guess from the name!) is lighter and results in more Powerful/Pinging bats. Its expensive and all pro's or serious players use only this willow. Graded in Grades one to four with Grade 1 being the best.
Kashmir willow is more denser and thus results in bit more heavier bats for the same size/thickness as english willow counterparts. However its not that bad. Its great for beginners/intermediate level players (as well as club cricket etc) its bargain price makes it even more attractive prospect. Even for higher grade players its great as a second bat especially for the nets etc (where crappy and cheap balls might be used and might damage the good bats). The performance on these bats is good as well (However not As good As top of the range English Willow bats).
However some sellers have started calling these Kashmir willow bats as ENGLISH WILLOW NURTURED IN INDIA!
How can willow nurtured in hilly region of Kashmir, India be called ENGLISH?
Its EITHER English Willow or its Kashmir willow- END OF.
Also there are other dodgy sellers who put HERO HONDA Or Britannia Stickers on a bat and call it ENGLISH WILLOW bat -Especially sellers from India. Just for some background info Hero Honda is a motorcycle company and Britannia is a BISCUIT company! These companies are sponsoring players for advertisement purposes - they don't make bats.
Whenever you see a bat for under $50 claiming to be English Willow its 100% fake since just a plank of English Willow (for one bat) costs more than that.
Another seller tactic is to use TERMS like "Genuine Willow" "Willow Bat" and PUTTING a HIGH Asking PRICE ON it - Always ask the seller if its English or Kashmir Willow. As explained earlier Kashmir arent bad but you shouldnt be paying in excess of $80 for a bat.
At the time of writing there are 25 Plus bats (Price Over 100!!) which are KASHMIR WILLOW Bats and have used terms like EWNI and GENUINE WILLOW to CON people. BEWARE!!!!
I hope that article helps you make an informed choice. If there is something else (cricket related) you want me to write about - Let me know and I will do it.
and last but not the least dont forget to give me a good vote for this article!