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CJI Cricket

Care for your bat

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Bat Care

How to prepare and maintain your cricket bat

If you want your new bat to perform to its full potential please follow the instructions below , if not you must expect a certain amount of damage which is NOT covered by any guarantee or warranty. During the lifetime of a bat some damage will occur and therefore it is impossible to prevent all damage. Each strike of a cricket ball will cause some , often un-noticeable damage to the bat. ALL OUR NEW BATS COME WITH A TOE GUARD READY FITTED TO HELP AVOID DAMAGE TO THE EXPOSED TOE OF YOUR BAT.

The purpose of oiling your bat is to help to soften and bind the surface fibres of the willow during the knocking in process and also prevent the wood from drying out and becoming brittle. By oiling the toe where no toe guard is fitted you help to prevent water soaking in which could lead to the toe cracking.

Cricket bats require oiling with raw linseed oil or special cricket bat oil. A minimum of two coats (preferable three) should be applied to the bat leaving 24 hours between coats for the oil to dry and soak in. During the drying time the bat should be left in a horizontal position out of direct sunlight. A coat of oil is about a teaspoon full being generous around the toe area of the bat. AVOID oiling the splice area where the handle joins the blade and the stickers as the oil may loosen the glue fixing them. NEVER stand the bat in oil or apply to much oil as this will deaden the willow resulting in poor performance.

Fitting the Scuff Sheet very Important

After oiling stage is complete, make sure the blade of the bat is dry and no oil is left on the face otherwise your scuff sheet will not stick very well, the scuff we think is the most important stage of preparing your cricket bat, nearly all pros use scuff sheets these days, the reason is because these make your bat last alot longer, all bats will get surface cracks, a scuff sheet will help this, and we recommend all bats have one fitted, all you need to do is peal of the backing and fix it to the face trimming around the tow area, we also recommend getting some bat tape and putting two strips up each edge, again this helps against cracking on the edge from mis-timed shots etc. 

Is the process by which the willow fibres of the face and edhes are compressed together to form a barrier to protect the bat against the impact of the ball. By properly knocking in your bat you will significantly improve the performance and liftime of your bat.

STAGE ONE . (Should take in the region of six hours although this may vary as every bat is different)
Use either a Bat Mallet or old ball repeatedly strike the face and edges of the bat gradually increasing the force. This conditioning must be performed with patience. DO NOT strike the edges directly at right angles to the blade as this would more than likely cause damage.

STAGE TWO. (Should take at least another hour)
Test out the bat by hitting short catches with an old cricket ball. If the seam marks the blade badly it is necessary to carry on with stage one. Once these steps have been taken the bat is now ready for use in matches. It may be advisable initially to avoid use against the new ball.

Surface Cracking

Willow is not manufactured. Surface cracks or crazing will appear on the face of all bats after a period of use. The knocking in period is vitally important in minimising surface cracks. Surface cracks do not harm the bats performance but proper knocking in delays the appearance of these cracks.


It is advisable not to use a new bat during indoor net sessions or on any concrete practice pitch , the ground is to hard and will increase the risk of damage to the toe of your bat , especially if you try to dig out any yorkers or catch the bat on the floor as you attempt a shot. Damage caused under these conditions is not covered in any bat warranty.

At the start and end of each season lightly sand down the blade and apply another coat of oil. NEVER put your bat away wet as this encourages rotting. Try to store your bat in cool and moist conditions to prevent excessive drying of the willow. Do not keep in a car boot for any length of time as this will dry out and weaken the willow.

A figure of 1000 to 1500 runs is often quoted but the life of the bat is goverened by many factors , including its preparation , usage and both the amount and style of play and how you care for your bat.The length of time before the player need to replace the bat will depend on :
a) the amount of use
b) The weight of the bat (heavy blades tend to be more durable than lighter ones)
c) The care with which the bat is treated. (Test match players get through 4 to 6 bats a year and more , an opening batsman facing a new ball each week against fast bowling at a semi-professional standard could expect to use 1 or 2 new bats each year , likewise someone lower down the order who hits the ball very hard would also be in a similar situation.)

Immediate action should be taken. This normally means a withdrawal from play for repairs to be carried out. It is vital the repairs are carried out by professional batmakers. The manufacturers are unable to guarantee repair work carried out by non-approved repairers.