Steps for English Willow Cricket Bat Care:
After the purchase of new English Willow Cricket Bat everyone is naturally enthusiastic to use it in games for hitting sixes and fours. If you properly prepare the bat before going for games then it can increase its performance and lifespan.
OILING WITH LINSEED OIL:
After the purchase of new bat please apply a thin coat of linseed oil at the face, edges, and back of the bat with a soft cloth. The bat must be kept in a horizontal position during this process and after oiling lay the bat flat for few hours.
The splice area of bat must not be oiled.
Repeat this process of oiling for 2-3 times after allowing each coat to dry. The bat must be cleaned with very fine sand paper before every application of oil.
Please ensure that your bat is not over-oiled; over-oiling can be more dangerous as compared to under-oiling. The weight of bat is increased and driving power is affected by over-oiling.
Thought the top quality bats are pre-knocked by machine (factory knocked) but it is recommended to knock them further before games with old leather ball or bat mallet. The user must tap the front face of the bat for about 2 / 3 hours for compressing the fibers/grains in the bat gently. The force can be increased gradually around the edges to make fine rounded corner around the edges. Special care must be taken while knocking at edges and toe area; harder knocking can cause damage to bat.
After knocking in, start using the bat to hit short catches using an old ball. Initially please refrain from playing with new leather ball either in nets or games.
KNOCKING IN:MAINTENANCE TIPS FOR BAT:
The moisture affects the quality and life of cricket bat and it can cause increased cracks and splits. To avoid moisture damage to the face, edges and especially the toe, the bat must be kept dry at all times.
It is a general phenomenon and normal routine if some small cracks appear in the bat. These may be lightly sanded out and treated with linseed oil application to the affected areas.
Bat must always be kept in a clean and dry environment. Never store your bat in a car for long time as this may lead to swelling of the willow. Cheaper leather balls with hard leather and plastic core must never be used as these will severely damage the bat.
A damaged bat must be repaired immediately to curtail any further damage. When the season is off the bat must be stored in cool and dry atmosphere, away from extreme heat and moisture.
After a prolonged idle period, please re-oil your bat before going for games again. The bat must be inspected regularly for any damages and if found then remedial measures / repair must be done promptly.