Cricket Bat Care

Cricket bats are constructed of willow. It is to generally be expected the condition of your bat will deteriorate during its usage.

Irrespective of make or finish of a bat, superficial face and edge marks will almost certainly appear, along with indentations or bruising of the willow. This occurs especially when 'poly type' coverings have been used, if the covering (a man-made fibre) does not react in the identical manner as willow (a natural fibre). During these circumstances there is no need to worry or be too concerned because the durability and performance of the bat is going to be unaffected.

Almost all bats returned are by worried and sometimes ill-advised customers,they aren't complaints as a result of manufacture
but merely reactions of the willow.

Preparation For Playing

Cricket Pavillion has got the following recommendations for the preparation and maintenance of cricket bats. Following these procedures will significantly lessen the possibility of damage occurring.

Oiling

All natural faced bats Should be treated using raw linseed or perhaps a specialist cricket bat oil. The primary purpose of oiling is always to maintain moisture levels inside the blade, and hence lessen the likelihood of cracking and splitting.

Light coats should be put on the face area, edge, toe and back of the blade - being careful in order to avoid the logos and the splice area. Generally 2 or 3 coats should be sufficient. Each coat should be allowed to dry in the blade within a horizontal position before the next is applied.

Do Not's
 
  • Don't Stand Over Oil
  • Don't Stand The Bat In Oil
  • Don't Stand The Bat In A Vertical Position After Oiling

Bats with full protective coatings shouldn't have oil applied, however they must be conditioned as detailed
 
An Alternative

It is possible to fit a transparent Anti-scuff or similar cover. This does not negate the requirement to 'knock in' the bat. The cover may assist the longevity of the bat, but on no account will it totally prevent surface damage.

Knocking In

All bats are pressed, however 'knocking in' is VITAL. This is actually the process through which the fibres from the willow in the face and edges are compressed together to create a barrier, which protects the bat against the impact from the ball. Effective 'knocking in' will significantly improve the performance and boost the lifespan of your bat.

Stage 1

The 'knocking in' process needs to be undertaken carefully, using a special bat mallet or an old, quality cricket ball. The bat should be repeatedly struck (with gradually increasing force) in most areas where you might normally expect to hit the ball, this conditioning should be performed with patience. Particular attention ought to be directed at the edges, although the edges or toe should not be struck directly at right-angles towards the blade. This would be more likely to cause harm.

Stage 2

The next step is to graduate to the use of the bat to hit short catches using an old, quality cricket ball. However, if the seam marks the blade, it's important to return to 'Stage one' for a further conditioning. This stage ought to be performed not less than another hour.

Once these steps are taken, the bat really should be ready for use in matches. It is advisable to initially avoid use from the 'new ball'.

Avoid using a new bat in a match with a fortnight of purchase.

Worst things you can do to a cricket bat....
  • Over Oil an untreated, plain, non-synthetically covered blade, thus raising the weight and making the willow dead with no drive, this eventually gives the wood 'oil rot.
  • Endeavour to wash it clean with water.
  • Constantly tap the bit in the crease on a wet wicket, thus saturating the base of the bat, causing the pressing to lift and the base of the bat to swell and generally crack horizontally.
  • Work with it without Knocking in' or treatment
  • Continual 'edging' thus causing bruising and unnecessary indentations.
  • Hit 'Yorkers' on the toe on the blade, thus denting and bruising the willow causing it generally to separate horizontally but completely through the bat. This is more likely to happen on indoor, hard or synthetic wickets, or at the outset of the season when the ground is very hard.
  • Using cheap cricket balls (especially those with hard centres) which bruise and dent the willow. Many bats are dented due to this reason.