Many hours of work have gone into making your cricket bat and with a few simple procedures and a little time and patience, your bat can be even better for longer. Just follow the guidelines set out below.
1) A new bat with a natural blade should have at least two light coats of oil to the face, edges, toe and back. This should be applied by either a soft rag or your finger. Care should be taken that oil does not reach the splice or handle. When oiling a bat there should never be puddles of oil on the surface of the bat, always wipe away any excess oil immediately. The knocking in process should commence after the second application of oil. Only raw linseed oil or special wax should be used.
2) If no anti-scuff facing or extratec are adopted then during the playing season the face and edges of the bat should be given a rub down with some fine sandpaper and given a light oil as stated above every 3 to 4 weeks.
3) No bat should stand in oil; best results are achieved by more applications of light oiling than by one application of lots of oil.
4) There is a much greater danger from a bat being over oiled than under oiled. Over oiling adds weight to the bat which can spoil the pick-up, remove driving power and can also cause ‘wood rot’.
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. It is not sufficient to play a few gentle ‘throw downs’ in the nets or back garden. 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.
Important products which will help prolong your bats life:
Raw Linseed oil
Anti scuff facing
A clear self adhesive cover that provides the best possible protection from surface cracking and indentations. We recommend the use of a facing on your bat as it can vastly improve its lifespan. It helps protect the edges of the blade as well as the face by making them a sealed unit, removing the need for sanding down and oiling during the season apart from a light oil on the toe and back.
All NiK Bats come with a Toe Guard fitted as standard. This helps to protect the toe from feathering during use and stops moisture from being absorbed into the toe area.
1) Moisture (e.g. water) should not be allowed to penetrate your bat, particularly at the base/toe of the blade as this can cause swelling and splitting of the willow.
2) Extreme heat should be avoided, e.g. car boots/interiors or utility rooms. Drying out will cause cracking and splits. Store in a moderate temperature to help preserve the condition of the willow.
3) Good care should be taken to look after and preserve your bat throughout it’s life span by reading and implementing the advice given in this guide, if you are unsure about any aspect of caring for your bat feel free to contact us at NiK Sports.
English willow is by nature a soft fibrous timber. In normal usage, willow will become bruised, scarred or dented simply due to the nature of the game. Such marking can occur at any time during the lifetime of the bat, but will not affect its performance. English willow is the preferred timber for all cricket bats.
Willow is a natural material and as a bat is used more and more, it is quite normal for the blade or face to develop slight markings. Surface cracking can appear in varying degrees depending on the type of willow, its maturity, and the standard of play it is used at. Superficial markings to the edges can also be expected as your bat will never stay pristine if you are scoring runs, after all that is it’s job! Neither of these blemishes will affect the playing qualities and should not be regarded as a fault in the willow. Should severe indentations occur please contact us as soon as possible for further advice.