A cricket bat is either made from English Willow (Salix Ceraelea) or Kashmir Willow which in its natural state are soft fibrous reeds. As such it requires preparation before it can be used to strike a cricket ball.
All bats are pressed during production, this pressing gives a degree of conditioning and also enhances the ‘drive’ (or power) of the bat. Each manufacturer will custom press each bat which means that bat makers will assess each cleft and determine how much pressure must be used to optimise drive and durability for that particular piece of willow.
‘Knocking in’ is additionally required and a very important part of the bats preparation. Kingsgrove Sports Bat preperation takes 7 days during which new bats are lightly machine rolled to ensure just enough hardening of the blade & edges to assist against severe denting. The bat is then oiled and knocked-in by hand using a smooth wooden mallet to enhance durability, concentrating on the edges & toe.
We recommend you look after your bat throughout its life by keeping care of it in a bat cover and safely in your cricket bag when not being used.
During the life span of a cricket bat, all bats will tend to crack given the amount of damage caused by repeatedy striking a cricket ball. Almost all bats returned to us by concerned players are not the result of defects in either the materials or manufacture but are part of the natural wear and tear process of the natural willow. Kingsgrove Sports recommends the use of fibreglass tape on the edges & ExtraTec (Sleeve) facing to help protect the face and edges of a cricket bat.
Pre-Prepared Cricket Bats
A number of cricket bats sold at Kingsgrove Sports have been “Pre-Prepared” by bat manufactures. This process is done by hand NOT machine and greatly reduces the time needed to prepare your bat for match play.
Please note that this is not a full ‘knocking in’ service and a minimum of additional preparation work by yourself or us is required after purchase and prior to a match so that you can maximise the performance and longevity of your bat.
Knocking In Process
All bats purchased at Kingsgrove Sports weather via our website or at one of our 5 Stores recieve our Bat Preparation service FREE of Charge.
Kingsgrove Sports Bat preperation takes 7 days during which new bats are lightly machine rolled to ensure just enough hardening of the balde & edges to assist against severe denting. A light coat of Raw Linseed oil is the applied to the face, edges & back of the bat.
The bat is then repeatedly struck using a smooth wooden mallet to enhance durability, concentrating on the edges & toe.
If you happen to purchase a Bat from another retailer & need it knocked in we are happy to do this for you but this will cost $62 (+FREE ExtraTec sleeve).
If you wish to Knock In your new bat yourself here is how to go about it:
Step 1: Oiling Your Bat (uncovered bats)
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. However, be wary of over oiling your bat as this can be as damaging as under oiling your bat
Light coats should be applied to the face, edge, toe and back of the blade - taking care to avoid the stickers or logos and the splice area. Allow the bat to dry.
Generally two or three coats should be sufficient. Each coat should be allowed to dry into the blade in a slightly elevated horizontal position from handle down before the next light coat is applied.
All bats are pressed, however 'knocking in' is VITAL. 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.
Step 2: Knocking In
The 'knocking in' process should be undertaken carefully, using a special bat mallet or an old, quality cricket ball. The bat should be repeatedly struck (with gradually increasing force) in all areas where one would normally expect to hit the ball, this conditioning must be performed with patience.
Particular attention should be given to the edges, although the edges or toe should not be struck directly at right-angles to the blade as this would be likely to cause damage. This stage should take in the region of six hours, although it may vary as every bat is different.
Step 3: Pre-Playing
The next step is to graduate to the use of the bat to hit short catches with an old, quality cricket ball. However, if the seam marks the blade, it is necessary to return to 'Step 2' for a further conditioning. This stage should be performed for at least another hour.
Step 4: Playing In
Once these steps have been taken, the bat should be ready for use in the nets against an old soft cricket ball. Ideally play in a defensive manner and avoid genuine fast bowling. If the seam of the ball marks the face of the bat resume the ‘knocking in’ process.
Kingsgrove Sports always recommends an Extratec Sleeve or similar cover to the face of the bat for ultimate protection. This does not negate the requirement to 'knock in' the bat. The sleeve may assist the durability of the bat, but under no circumstances will it totally prevent surface damage.
YOU SHOULD NEVER:
1. Never over oil your cricket bat.
2. Do not stand the bat in oil.
3. Do not stand the bat in a vertical position after oiling.
4. Do not hit the edges at right angles.
5. Do not hit the back of the bat.
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD A BAT BE USED IN MATCH CONDITIONS UNLESS THE ABOVE RECOMMENDED STEPS HAVE BEEN COMPLETED. NOT COMPLETING THE STEPS MAY EFFECT YOUR WARRANTY.