Cricket Bat Care
The very best cricket bats are made from the finest quality English willow which by nature is also the softest. Your bat is designed to hit the ball 6"-8" from the toe and in the middle of the blade. Damage can occur when hitting yorkers at the bottom of the bat or from catching a ball on the edge of the blade. Surface cracks will appear on the face of all bats, especially the better quality ones, and in no way affect the bats performance. If willow begins to lift then it can be glued down with PVA glue, sanded down and the blade fitted with an anti-scuff face.
The instructions below will ensure that your new bat is properly prepared and reduces the chance of serious damage occurring. A NEW BAT SHOULD NOT BE USED UNTIL BOTH PROCEDURES HAVE BEEN COMPLETED.
All natural faced crciket bats must be treated using raw linseed oil or special cricket bat oil. This helps to maintain the moisture levels within the blade and hence reduce the chance of cracking and splitting. It also helps to prevent water penetrating the bottom of the blade causing the toe to swell. A light cost should be applied to the face, edge, toe and back of the blade taking care to avoid the splice area. After oiling keep the bat in a horizontal. Repeat the process after two weeks. A crciket bat that has not been used for a while, after a winters rest perhaps, will also benefit from a light oiling before use. Bats which are fitted with clear anti-scuff or similar cover still require oiling at the toe unless a toe guard is fitted.
DO NOT OVER OIL
AVOID THE SPLICE AREA
DO NOT STAND THE BAT IN OIL
DO NOT LEAVE THE BAT IN A VERTICAL POSITION AFTER OILING.
All cricket bats are pressed, however "knocking in" is VITAL. This is the process by which the fibres of the willow in the face and edges are compressed together to form a barrier which protects the bat against the impact of the ball. Effective "knocking in" will significantly improve the performance and increase the lifespan of the bat.
STAGE ONE - The "knocking in" process should be undertaken carefully, using a special bat mallet (wooden ones are more
efficient) or an old, quality cricket ball. The bat should be repeatedly struck (with gradually increasing force) in all
areas where one would expect to hit the ball. This conditioning must be performed with patience. Particular attention
should be given to the outer edge of the face of the blade, although the side edges of the blade should not be hit with
a mallet. This stage should take a minimum of three hours with a wooden mallet or twice as long with an old ball
STAGE TWO - The next step is to graduate to using the bat to hit short catches with an old, quality cricket ball. However if the seam marks the blade, it is necessary to return to "stage one " for further conditioning. This should be performed for at least one hour.
Once these steps have been taken, the bat is ready for use in matches. It is advisable to initially avoid use against the "new ball".
We offer a bat knocking in service - click here for details
Toe Guards and Anti-Scuff
We strongly recommend the use of a "glue on " toe guard. These are excellent fro preventing toe swell after use on a damp wicket. They are also particularly useful on bats which are used regularly on artificial pitches and prevent the excessive wear that often occurs by constant "toe tapping". Transparent anti-scuff facing is also recommended either on new bats or after the repair of a cracked face.
A bat should be taken out of play as soon as possible after being damaged and before it comes too serious. If a cracked or split bat is kept in play the damage will become more serious, and therefore more expensive to repair, or at worse, un-repairable.