Here at VIKING CRICKET we take great care in selecting only the very best natural English Willow cricket bats and we trust and hope that a bat purchased through us will perform well throughout its lifetime and will bring you many runs and much satisfaction. It is important to understand and accept that every cricket bat will accumulate wear and tear throughout its lifetime. Common signs include small cracks across the face, dints on the edges of the blade, and slight chipping of the toe. To ensure you get maximum performance from your new cricket bat we have compiled the following bat care guide for you.
Before use, your bat must go through a ‘Knocking in’ process. To start this process raw linseed oil should be used to moisten the surface of the bat and enable the fibers to become supple. Two to three coats of raw linseed oil (a coat is a teaspoon full) should be gently applied to the face, edges and toe areas of the bat (where there are no bat labels). Let each coat of oil soak in overnight and repeat the process before starting the knocking in with a bat mallet. The knocking in process should be done using a hardwood bat mallet. Start by hitting the middle of the bat and just hard enough to create a dent. Gradually compress the face of the bat around these dents so that the face of the bat is level and you cannot see the initial dents any more. The bottom of the bat toe should never be hit with the mallet. Edges also require attention. They need to be rounded off so that a hard new ball cannot damage them too much. The edges should be struck at 45 degrees to the face. The back of the bat should never be hit with the mallet. Edges should also not be hit at 90 degrees to the face. With a hardwood bat mallet the knocking in process should take between 10-15 sessions of about 10-15 minutes each. You do have the option to use the bat as a natural blade or you can chose to Extratec the face of the bat. Extratec is highly recommended for added protection of the bat. The bat should then be used in a net situation slowly working into full use. Don’t expose the bat to a match situation until you have prepared it correctly.
The blade of the bat should be periodically cleaned down with fine sandpaper and then a thin coat of oil should be applied to keep the surface pliable and prevent the oiled bat from drying out. Ensure however that the bat is not over oiled as this leads to a deadening of the bat and reduction in performance. A bat with Extratec fitted to protect it will require the cover to be removed at the end of each season and oiled to prevent the bat drying out.
Correct storage of your cricket bat is very important. It is crucial that you don’t leave the bat in direct sunlight or in a room that is extremely warm in temperature as this can cause the blade to dry and become weak.
Our bats are handcrafted from natural materials and as a result, during normal usage, are likely to incur superficial face and edge damage. These do not detract from the overall performance of the bat. Should more serious damage occur to the bat due to a mistimed shot or the 'digging out' of a yorker, the damage can often be easily repaired without affecting performance. On occasions damage will occur to cricket bats due to the age of the bat or the poor treatment that it might have received.