Your cricket bat is a 'tool of the trade'; It's raw materials are grown and not manufactured. It is to be expected that the condition of the bat will deteriorate during its usage but the performance of the bat should be uneffected. The manufacturers have put together the following notes to assist the explanation of situations which may occur within the lifespan of any cricket bat. Each bat purchased is hand selected and weighed to suit our customers requirements. The playing life of your bat relates directly to the preparation, maintenance and care of the bat throughout its life.
PREPARATION FOR PLAY
The CRICKET BAT MANUFACTURERS recommend the following principles for the preparation and maintenance of cricket bats.
STAGE ONE STAGE TWO POLY-COATED BATS GENERAL INFORMATION PREVENTION OF ANY TOE DAMAGE
All natural faced bats MUST be treated using raw linseed or a specialist cricket bat oil. The main purpose of oiling is to maintain moisture levels within the blade, and hence reduce the chances of cracking and splitting. The best way of applying oil to the bat is using a paint brush and lightly coat to the face of the bat, edge & toe of the blade taking care to avoid the logos and splice area. Generally three or four coats should be sufficient initially and one every 3-4 weeks thereafter. Each coat should be allowed to dry into a blade in a horizontal position before the next is applied.
EXTRATEC is a clear self-adhesive film which can be adhered to the face of the bat. Extratec is without doubt the best protection to the face & edges of cricket bats. It transforms the face of the bat into a sealed unit, negating the need for oiling except for the toe of the bat. It provides the best possible protection against surface cracking for all bats.
All bats are pressed by the manufacturer, however knocking in is VITAL for the survival of your bat. This is the process by which the fibres of the willow in the face and edges are compressed together to form a barrier, which protects the bat against the impact of the ball. Effective knocking in will significantly improve the performance and increase the lifespan of the bat. We recommend that prepared Ready Play & Pre Knocked in bats need extra preparation & care before use; A significant portion of this preparation can be best performed by our Pressing Machine along with a ball mallet or bat mallet.
The knocking in process should be undertaken carefully, using a special bat/ball mallet or an old, quality cricket ball. The bat should be repeatedly struck across and down the front of the blade gradually increasing force over a period of time. This conditioning must be performed with patience. Particular attention should be given to hardening the edge, by deflecting the mallet or ball across them-not at right angles to minimize damage from an edge shot. The toe area of the bat should be faced carefully as there is risk of causing cracks or splits across the base of the bat if struck too hard. This stage is important and should take approximately 8-10 full hours and if machined pressed 4-6 full hours.
The next step is to graduate to the use of the bat to prepare it for match conditions. Throw downs in the nets or short catches with an old quality cricket ball is advisable. However if the seam marks the blade or small surface cracks & indentations are visible, it is necessary to return to Stage One for further conditioning. This stage should be performed for a further duration of time (2 hours). *Please note this is not a sign of a faulty bat but a good indication the bat requires further attention to the knocking in stages. Once these steps have been taken the bat should be ready for use in matches. It is advisable to initially avoid use against the new ball if however you are a opening batsmen ExtraTec is highly recommended for added protection.
The poly coating applied to certain bats should only be regarded as initial protection. The poly type will crack and crease especially on the edges and sometimes long cracks will appear in the middle of the blade. Generally this is only the poly cracking and not the wood
Remember- all bats including poly-coated bats should be knocked in before use - with particular emphasis on the edges and bottom.
English Willow - (Salix Caerulea or Alba Var) is by nature a soft fibrous reed. Performance and durability are enhanced by drying and pressing. In normal usage, willow will become bruised, scarred or dented simply due to the nature of the game (the impact with the ball). The performance of the bat will not be affected. Such marking can occur at any time during the lifespan of the bat. Players must remember that the ball is supposed to contact the blade in the middle area. Any occasion where the ball strikes the bottom/edges of the bat is classed as a bad shot and any resultant damage should not necessarily be attributed to the blade being faulty.
KASHMIR WILLOW - Willow grown outside of England is by nature much harder than English willow. Therefore bats made of this type of willow will not have a comparable level of performance with English willow bats.
LIFESPAN OF A CRICKET BAT - There can be no definitive length of time that a cricket bat will last. The condition of a bat deteriorates with use. The length of time before the player needs to replace their bat will depend upon:
a. The amount of use.
b. The weight of the bat (heavier bats tend to be more durable than lighter ones).
c. The care with which the bat is treated.
AGE OF THE CRICKET BAT - Bats over 12 months old (from the date of purchase) will be considered entirely at the manufacturer's discretion, taking into account the age and condition of the bat. It is possible for the condition of the bat to deteriorate without use (simply due to the natural drying out process).
STORAGE - To ensure that a bat remains in good condition, it is essential that the bat not be stored in excessively warm conditions, this will cause the bat to dry out. The bat should ideally be stored in a position that will allow a little moisture from the atmosphere to be absorbed.
IN CASE OF DAMAGE - Immediate action should be taken & the bat withdrawn from play. It is vital that the repairs are carried out by professional batmakers. The manufacturers are unable to guarantee repair work carried out by non-approved repairers.
SURFACE CRACKING TO THE BLADE FACE
CAUSE -General wear and tear
SOLUTION -NOT REPLACEABLE, crack will not affect the performance of the bat. Proper preparation will prevent unnecessary surface cracking.
SURFACE CRACKING TO THE TOE OF THE BAT
CAUSE -General wear and tear. This type of damage is often caused by the striking of a yorker, or excessive tapping of the crease.
SOLUTION - NOT REPLACEABLE, crack will not affect the performance of the bat. Repairable with PVA glue - protected with Shoe Goo or Toe Shield.
CAUSE -1. Mistimed strokes at the toe of the bat. 2. Use in wet/damp conditions which generally leads to swelling of the toe which may split after drying. 3. Excessive knocking or tapping at the wicket.
SOLUTION - NOT REPLACEABLE, will not effect the performance. Prevention is better than the cure. Toe Shields or Shoe Goo can prevent any possible toe problems and prolong life.
CAUSE -General wear and tear.
SOLUTION -The bat itself is not replaceable, but the handle may be repaired at the manufacturer's discretion
BREAKAGE TO THE BLADE
CAUSE - Weak or excessively dry willow.
SOLUTION - Potentially replaceable by full or partial credit, at the manufacturer?s discretion.
SPLIT THROUGH THE TOE AREA OF BLADE
CAUSE - This type of damage is caused by striking of a ball at, or near the base of the blade, eg. the driving of a yorker.
SOLUTION - Repairable and/or replaceable at the manufacturer?s discretion. ]
BAT WARRANTIES & RETURNS
All warranties, repairs or discounts given on replacement bats are at the discretion of the MANUFACTURER. Bats returned under complaint MUST be accompanied by proof of purchase (including date of purchase). Failure to comply may affect the customer?s statutory rights.
The warranty offered by manufacturers is only the goodwill between all bat manufacturers that results in a replacement or a cost free repair on a bat which has suffered damage believed not to be the customer?s fault. There is definitely no warranty on bats with surface damaged edges or toes. A shot resulting in damage to the toe or edge of the bat is the user's fault. The manufacturer requires a receipt or proof of purchase to qualify for a warranty Claim.
PREVENTION OF ANY TOE DAMAGE