Ahh, the excitement of purchasing a new cricket bat! Get it home, rip off all the packaging eager to get out in the garden and thwack a few balls. But wait! If your lovely new bat is not prepared properly then you may risk splitting the bat the first really hard fast ball.
Think of the bat as the body. You know if you exercise madly after doing nothing over the winter you are really going to hurt the next couple of days. Sore, aching or pulled muscles because your body needs preparing for exercise. Same for your cricket bat.
All natural bats require oiling and knocking in. Use raw linseed oil or special bat oil which is available in the shop.
- A new bat with a natural blade (or front) should have at least two light coats of oil to the face, edges, toe and back, wiping away any excess oil immediately. Apply the oil using your fingers or a soft rag taking care not to get oil on the splice or handle. The knocking in process should commence after the second application of oil.
- If you don’t have a facing applied on your blade, your bat will appreciate a rub down with some fine sandpaper and another light oiling every 3 to 4 weeks, during the season.
- For best results, apply oil little and often as over oiling adds weight to the bat which can spoil the pick up, remove driving power and can also cause ‘wood rot’.
Cricket bats need to be ‘knocked in’ when they are new and at the beginning of the season. A new bat, irrespective of the finish should be knocked in carefully and with patience. This is best done by a bat mallet and hitting the blade repeatedly in all areas where the ball would be expected to make contact, paying special attention to the front edges. The knocking in should start off lightly and progress to harder hitting as you near completion. Pick a day when things haven’t gone as planned, it’s very therapeutic. Playing a few gentle ‘throw downs’ in the nets or back garden is no substitute. Take time and your bat will give a better performance and be less likely to suffer damage.
Your cricket bat is ready for use after oiling and approximately 6 hours of knocking in for a brand new bat. For pre-prepared bats a shorter time of at least 1 to 2 hours is recommended
You can tell when your bat is fully knocked in and ready for play when there are no visible markings occurring from the use of a leather ball e.g. seam marks.
At the beginning of the season it is worth spending a little time on your bat, especially if it is a good quality bat.
- Condition the bat with oil
- knock in
- replace the toe guard
- replace the grip
If that sounds frankly like too much work, then let us condition your bat for you for £35.00