If you are a cricket player, no matter what level, you will need to know how to maintain your bat. This piece of crafted willow is your tool to rack up the runs, and therefore needs constant care and attention, and if you are contemplating adding to your arsenal, here are some useful tips on how to keep your cricket bats in tip-top condition.
This is the term for a process that every new bat must undergo, and it involves gently tapping the contact surface with a cricket mallet. Patience is a virtue, and you will need this in abundance to knock in your bat correctly, with the process usually taking 3-4 weeks. The knocking in process has a great impact on the bat’s performance, and should never be overlooked. Some bat makers will say they have “factory prepared” the bat, but that doesn’t mean it can be used without knocking it in. If you are just becoming interested in the sport, why not buy a cricket bat online today from Meulemans? The leading supplier of quality cricket gear, including the best bats on the market.
To correctly “knock in” a cricket bat, you must strike the blade repeatedly with a cricket mallet, starting with soft taps, and covering the entire surface that might make contact with the ball. As you continue this process, you should notice the edges becoming rounded, and you should never hit an edge at ninety degrees. Focusing mainly on the meat section of the bat (the middle part), gradually increase the intensity of the tapping, trying to keep the surface even. The knocking in can be a daily routine, and don’t be tempted to take it out for a few hits in the nets, as the willow surface needs to be compacted before it can safely absorb the tensions of hitting a moving ball. So, if you are about to buy a cricket bat, make sure you have access to a cricket mallet, as you will need one.
The First Session
Once you think your bat is knocked in, and there are no seams or dents on the blade, then you can head for the nets, and hit a dozen high-grade old balls, checking the blade after each strike. If any marks or indentations appear, then the bat has not been properly knocked in, and it is back to the wooden mallet for some more tapping.
All cricket bats require regular oiling with linseed oil, which can be applied with a cloth. Avoid the splice, as this can weaken the adhesive, and apply the oil generously on the face and the toe, which will nourish the willow, and keep the bat in good condition. You can buy covered bats, and this should be removed at the end of every season with fine sandpaper, then re-applied. Avoid subjecting the bat to extreme temperatures, as this can warp the blade surface, and keep it away from excessive moisture.
Top quality cricket bats will stand the test of time, if they are properly cared for, and with online suppliers of all things cricket, obtaining products for this sport will be easy.