Buying a bat brings excitement and joy. We start expecting our new cricket bat to do some magic, and all the balls coming to it should fall outside the boundary. Almost everyone loves the thought of hitting a straight drive or pulling a short ball for a boundary. This is something that each one of us wishes to attain while playing cricket or watching our team play. People love cricket like anything, which is why they get emotional while playing or watching it. Similarly, a cricket bat is not just equipment; it is more than that. That’s why both professionals and regular players take the best care of their bats.
This blog will help you identify some great ways to protect and maintain your cricket bat.
Preparing A Bat for Game Through Oiling & Knocking: Before you start playing, you must consider doing two key activities – oiling & knocking. While oiling is self-explanatory, knocking is a bit different yet integral part of taking care of a bat. Oiling and knocking is the first step to making your bat game ready.
Oiling: It is necessary to use the right kind of oil. Linseed oil is the most commonly used oil, and it would be best to use raw linseed oil. Oiling should be done only on the face, toe, and edges of the bat. You must apply 5-6 coats of oil using a piece of a soft cloth. Once you are done with oiling, it’s time to move to the knocking process. The benefits of oiling include:
- Oiling prevents moisture from getting inside the bat.
- Oiling helps to keep the fibers of the willow together and prevents the bat from surface cracks.
Knocking: Knocking the bat compresses the fibers of the willow that is present in it. This will ensure that the willow becomes stronger and denser, which will allow you to hit the ball properly. You can knock the bat using a wooden mallet that is:
- Made especially for knocking.
- Made from high-quality wood that will speed up the process.
- Durable so that you can hit as hard as you want.
Therefore, knocking is essential as it not only provides a good stroke but also strengthens your bat.
Protecting Bat Face & Edges: To ensure the safety of your bat, you can take a few steps before you start using it. It is good for the bat to have some protection as the ball approaches at high speeds. You can do it by protecting the edges, face, and front end of your bat. These protective sheets are also known as anti-scuff sheets. These sheets should be applied only after the bat is oiled and knocked properly. There are generally two main types of protective sheets –
Fiber Tapes: Fibre tapes are generally used to tape the edges of your bat. These tapes have fiber threads in them, which makes them very effective in protecting the edges of the bat. Tapes with different thicknesses are available online to suit your style and play. Choose them wisely. Taping will hold the bat in place and prevent the ball from causing any wear and tear. Also, taping will give additional strength and durability to your bat. You can use tapes on the face, toe, and edges of the bat. Benefits of using fiber tapes –
- Prevents cracks to the surface and edges.
- Extends life of the bat.
- Protect bats from moisture.
Extratec: It is a protection sheet designed explicitly for the face of the bat for additional protection and care. It is a self-adhesive film that can be applied to the hitting area of the bat. You can use it for additional bat protection as it preserves the integrity of the bat by preventing the grains of the bat from cracking up. It has the following features:
- Provides maximum feel and safety.
- Gives additional protection to the face of the bat.
- Prevents moisture from entering the surface of the bat.
- Prevents cracks in bats.
Protecting Bat Toe With Toe Guard: Bat toe is the most vulnerable area, and it needs protection. Fixing a toe guard can prevent it from damage. You cannot afford to avoid maintaining and protecting your bat toe because if you miss this step, all other measures you take to protect your bat will not prove effective. You can easily find toe guards online. Benefits of using toe guard –
- Protects against small chip offs from toe area.
- Protects from moisture ingress.
- Prevents damage to the toe of the bat.
- Helps prevent toe swell from moisture uptake.
The products we have mentioned so far are meant to prevent the bat from chipping or breaking. Even if your bat breaks or chips off, there are ways to fix them, but we believe that prevention is always better than cure. You should ensure that you are giving the highest-quality protection to your bat.
Threading on toe and shoulder: Threading is also done on the toe and shoulder of the bat to prevent it from breaking. Toe threading is beneficial especially when the batter is a bottom-hand player or if the pitch has a low bounce. Shoulder threading of the bat is performed as the shoulder is the thinnest part of the blade of the bat, which needs to be protected. A polyester thread is the best for threading.
Protecting Your Bat Handle Using Bat Grips: Handle is another important part of your cricket bat that needs your attention and care. It can break or crack due to high impact, like in a toe-crushing Yorker. Therefore, protecting a handle becomes a necessity. An easy fix includes using quality grips that you can put on the bat handle. You can have one or more grips as it fills out the hand. Furthermore, more grips are better at absorbing the impact of the ball. It also depends on the convenience of the player how he gets the proper grip. This can definitely extend the life of your bat.
- Use grips made with high-quality materials.
- Choose grips that aren’t sticky.
- Use grips to feel soft with shock absorption features.
- Use grips that don’t slip off from your hands while batting.
These are a few tips to deal with normal wear & tear happening to your bat. We have also discussed some products that can prevent such wear and tear. Being one of the best bat manufacturers in India, we believe that you must follow preventive measures and bat care tips to take care of your cricket bat. Although the above-mentioned ways will help you to extend the life of your bat, it is important to keep in mind that all bats have a limited lifespan and will eventually break at some point depending on your usage. If you think your old bat needs replacement, check out our exclusive collection of cricket bats!