In order to get the best performance and life span from your
bat you must be prepared to put some time and effort into looking after it and preparing it for use. BAT CARE PRODUCTS
A cricket bat is made of soft wood, a cricket ball is a hard spherical object propelled at upto 90 mph. Think of the damage that happens to a metal car in a crash at 30 mph and compare this to you hitting a cricket ball with force at 90 mph!!!!! Why do batsmen wear pads and helmets?
All the cricket bats sold by Quantum Cricket are made by skilled craftsmen to exacting quality standards, however each bat is unique and made from an entirely natural product - wood. Performance will vary from bat to bat even for the same bat brand however if you want to get the best out of your new bat please follow these simple instructions. If you don't you must expect damage that is NOT covered by any guarantee or warranty. Also please remember that you cannot prevent all damage, during the lifetime of a bat some damage will occur, you can only do your best to help prevent it or slow the onset of terminal damage. Every strike of a cricket ball will cause some, often imperceptible damage to the bat. The more you use it and the more you abuse it, the quicker and more likely it is to become damaged. WE STRONGLY ADVISE FITTING A TOE GUARD TO YOUR BAT, THEY PROTECT AGAINST SO MUCH POTENTIAL DAMAGE TO THE VULNERABLE TOE AREA.
These notes have been prepared with the aid of 17 years personal experience and advice from the manufacturers and other suppliers, please read and use the advice on offer, some of the graphics and text have been taken from manufacturers web sites and product information and are used with their permission solely to educate the buying public and our customers. At the very end of this page you can read the notes and see some pictures of the advice offered by a consortium of bat manufacturers, along with the minimum levels of service you should expect if you experience problems with your cricket bat. Some retailers (including ourselves) will offer further and other guarantees above and beyond what the 'standard' manufacturers offer but that is at the expense and discretion of any particular retailer.
OILING YOUR BAT
The purpose of oiling your bat is to help prevent the wood from drying out and becoming brittle, it also helps to soften and bind the surface fibres of the willow during the knocking in process. By oiling the bat and especially the toe you are also helping to prevent water ingression that could lead to the toe cracking and the face peeling.
Unless specifically told otherwise cricket bats require oiling with raw linseed oil (do not use boiled linseed oil) or special cricket bat oil. A minimum of two coats (preferably 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 laid horizontally, out of direct sunlight. A full coat of oil (front, back and toe) is less than one teaspoon full, but be a little more generous with the oil around the toe area of your bat. However avoid oiling the splice area and the stickers as the oil could loosen the glue. Also NEVER stand the bat in oil or apply too much oil as this will deaden the wood resulting in very poor performance. After oiling allow 3-4 days for complete drying before applying toe guards and antiscuff faces, otherwise the glue/adhesive may not stick properly.
The main purpose of knocking in your bat is to harden the face and in particular the toe and edge areas to help protect your bat from damage due to mis-timed shots that everybody (no matter how good you are) makes from time to time, the secondary aim is to help develop the middle and sweet spot. Every manufacturer tries to gain a balance between pressing the wood too hard for protection whilst leaving it soft enough to provide the necessary springy characteristics required by a cricket bat. Some brands are softer than others and some so much harder, plus of course each bat is an individual made from an infinitely variable natural product thus each bat will require a different amount of knocking in. By knocking the bat in you are providing the finishing stages of the pressing process and making the toe and edges harder than the rest of the bat to try to help prevent premature damage.
THE BANE OF ANY NEW BAT OWNER
ALL new bats require knocking in after they have been oiled, this is best performed with a special knocking in mallet. Start by gently knocking and deflecting the mallet against the blade paying special attention to the edges and toe area of the bat. Always knock in from the front face of the bat, NEVER from the sides or underneath the toe. Gradually increase the force of the blows over a period of time until you are comparable with the force of a ball used in match conditions. The initial knocking in stages should take at least 6 full hours of blows, remember to pay most attention to the edges (outermost 1" of wood) and the front of the toe area. This is a slow and tiresome process but please do not be tempted to skimp on the time devoted to the proper preparation of your new bat.
HOW LONG WILL MY NEW BAT LAST?
This question is impossible to answer, 1000 to 1500 runs is often quoted as a figure to aim for, but the life of a cricket bat is goverened by many factors, including preparation, usage both the amount and style of play and how you care for your bat. Test match players get through 4 to 6 bats a year, an opening batsman facing a new ball every week against fast bowling at semi-professional level could expect to use a new bat each year, someone lower down the order who hits the ball hard would be in a similar situation. Those who bat less often or at a lower level of competition could expect their bats to last longer, some bats last many years but you cannot say for certain. Proper care and attention, thorough preparation and knocking in and the use of toe guards and anti-scuff faces will help your bat to last longer. Many bats can also be repaired when you might perhaps think they are deceased!! Most handle and splice damage can be solved by replacing the handle (costs about £25) and the bat will be returned to a fully functional state with no detriment to the future performance or life span. These days the glue used can be stronger than the original wood!!!! Unfortunately the price you pay for a bat does not guarantee longer life, indeed quite perversely the higher priced bats are often made of better and softer wood and will have a shorter life time than cheaper harder bats but will perform better in use. Cricket bats don't last forever, the willow is a soft, natural material and it will break! WE STRONGLY ADVISE FITTING A TOE GUARD TO YOUR BAT, THEY PROTECT AGAINST SO MUCH POTENTIAL DAMAGE TO THE VULNERABLE TOE AREA.
OUR CRICKET BAT GUARANTEE
We at Quantum Cricket are proud of the quality of all our bats at every price point and will always replace or repair bats (in the warranty period - 1 year for English Willow bats, 3 months for Kashmir willow bats) that have genuine faults in materials or workmanship, for example a faulty glued splice, however we are not responsible for damage if our preparation instructions are not followed or the damage is a result of a mis-hit shot, for example an edge or blow on the toe, this is the fault of the batsman and NOT the bat. In these cases we may be able to help repair the bat but this may be chargeable, please discuss any problems with us first. English willow bats have a one year guarantee period, Kashmir willow bats are often much cheaper and made from lesser quality components, thus Kashmir willow bats only have a three month warranty period, but still need to be prepared and treated in the same way as English willow bats, only perhaps use a little more oil on a Kashmir willow bat as they tend to be quite dry. Our bat guaranttee is subject to a fair wear and tear policy and the one year warranty applies to bats used in the recreational game, bats used at a professional level (which are used much more often and under more severe conditions) are not covered in this way and should be discussed with us before making the purchase. We also do not warrant against the performance of any individual bat, each cleft of willow is different from the next and each bat plays differently from the next. Please remember each piece of willow is a natural product and whilst manufactured to high standards may not perform as well as your last bat, also it may perform better!!! This is not usually down to a fault with the bat, maybe it balances differently from your last and you can't get your timing right or the sweet spot is placed differently, this does not mean the bat is faulty and it does not form a warranty claim. All stock item bats are inspected, weighed and checked for tap up performance on receipt here at Quantum Cricket before they are sold, any bat that is not suitable for sale is returned to the manufacturers, so you can be sure you receive a bat that complies to basic minimum quality standards.
By taking care of your new, high quality bat you will enhance its life time and its playing characteristics, enhancing your enjoyment of the game and use of the product. Our philosophy is to provide quality equipment at fair and reasonable prices and all the help and information you require to enhance your enjoyment, unfortunately too many people are far too quick to blame the bat when the fault really lies with the batsman. When playing cricket you have to accept you will occasionally mis-hit the ball and given the forces involved this may damage your bat, in most cases this is not the fault of the bat. We understand that early damage to a new bat is often frustrating and undesired but we also need our customers to realise that most damage is not due to a fault with the bat and is therefore not covered by any warranty or guarantees, but can usually be put right by a skilled craftsman for minimal cost. Remember all cricket bats will crack to some extent, this is natural (see the picture above). Edge and toe damage is also usually inevitable but is usually the fault of the batsman and not the bat, by taking care of your bat and following these instructions you will help to decrease the likelihood and impact of these events.
If you feel these recommendations and guarantees are incorrect, inaccurate or unreasonable then please we respectfully ask that you do not buy a bat from us. We will always try our best to offer quality equipment and customer service and take care of the repair of any bats where it is our responsibility to do so, but we also expect our customers to be aware of these terms and conditions. All bats are sold in a fit for purpose condition, you have the right (under UK distance selling regulations) to return any bat you buy mail order from us within 7 days of receipt provided it has not been used at all or removed from its protective shrink wrapping (if it has any) for a refund of the purchase the price, although we will retain any and all postage charges incurred by us. Use of any cricket bat will cause some damage over time, this should be expected, serious damage due to materials and manufacturing faults will be put right by us, usually by repair, damage not covered by warranty (eg, edge and toe damage caused by mishits) is fully the responsibility of the customer, we should be able to help put this right but it may be chargeable. Take for example, if you smash the ball on the bottom corner of the bat and this causes some compression damage that is your fault (whilst obviously not intentional) and not the bats, thus you have to accept responsibility for repair etc, bats are designed to hit the ball 12-20cm up the blade not on the toe. For any further advice please feel free to contact us. Enjoy your batting.
Toe Guard set £6
Self application kit.
Highly recommended for
protecting the toe of
any new bat or for repairs.
The Toe guard reduces friction between the bat and the ground, helps prevent water ingression from the toe and helps to protect against impact with the ball.
Each kit comes with a single piece of toe guard material, adhesive and full instructions for use.
ANTISCUFF FACE (clear) - £4
ANTISCUFF FACE (Nylon) - £2
A tough, self adhesive protective face for all cricket bats available as clear or nylon impregnated. Suitable as protection for new bats or to effect minor repairs, approx. size: 400mm x 130mm.
CRICKET BAT / Linseed OIL - £2.95
Approx. 125ml bottle, essential for preparaing
new bats prior to knocking
in and for on-going
care and attention of
existing bats. Brand
supplied may vary.
KNOCKING IN MALLET - £4.95
knocking in mallet. An
essential tool for
knocking in new cricket bats before use. Thorough knocking in will help to prevent early bat damage, increase the performance and life of your bat and is essential to maintain the warranty on your bat provided by Quantum Cricket and other retailers.
OILING & KNOCKING IN SERVICE
£30 / £35
If you do not fancy the hours of knocking or do not have the time we can oil (3 coats) and knock in your new bat for you for an extra cost of £30 per bat or £35 to include fitted toe guard and antiscuff (we also usually fit fibre tape to the edges as an extra protection, let us know if you don't want us to do this). You will then receive your bat ready for immediate use and in a fully protected condition, giving you peace of mind and the knowledge that any subsequent damage is not the result of improper preparation. The delivery time will be delayed by up to 7 days to allow enough time to do the job properly. Applies to new bats purchased from Quantum Cricket, available at the time of ordering only.
After these six hours use your bat with soft, old balls in the nets, then examine the face for seam marks. If deep seam marks are present your bat requires some more knocking in. Knock in for a further one hour and repeat the gentle net session. During these initial net sessions be careful and do not attempt extravagent cross bat shots and slogs, you are still testing your bat and damage could result if the bat is under prepared. Once no further deep seam marks appear your bat is ready for testing against newer, harder balls, repeat the process until no deep seam marks appear with new balls. At this point your bat should be ready for match use. WE STRONGLY ADVISE FITTING A TOE GUARD TO YOUR BAT, THEY PROTECT AGAINST SO MUCH POTENTIAL DAMAGE TO THE VULNERABLE TOE AREA.
Some retailers and manufacturers offer a knocking in service or bats that come factory prepared for immediate use. In these cases knocking in by the customer will usually not be required, but always follow the retailers advice and if you are in any doubt, double check with them before you use and possibly damage the bat. Some factory prepared bats are not ready for immediate use and require a little extra work before they can safely be used, you can be sure we will highlight this in our descriptions if this applies to any bats sold on our website.
USE INDOORS AND AT PRACTICE
It is advisable not to use a new bat during indoor net sessions or on concrete practice pitches, the ground is often very hard and will increase the risk of damage to the toe of your bat, especialy if you try to 'dig out yorkers' or catch the bat on the floor as you attempt a shot. Also generally cheap and hard net balls are used and batsmen get carried away trying to hit each and every ball too hard. Damage caused under these conditions is not covered by any bat warranty.
ON-GOING CARE AND ATTENTION
During the playing life of your bat treat it with care and attention; at the start and end of each season lightly sand the blade (not the antiscuff sheet or labels) and apply another light coat of oil. Do not put the bat away wet as this will encourage rotting and try to store the bat in cool conditions to prevent excessive drying of the willow. Do not keep your bat in your car boot for any extended length of time or store it near radiators or central heating boilers as this will dry the willow and make it very weak.You will get the best out of your bat if you look after it, treat it as your best friend and you will be rewarded with performance and life span.
As a precaution you might want to apply a toe guard (£6 or £5 if bought with a new bat from us) and / or an Antiscuff face (from £2) to your new bat. We at Quantum Cricket can supply these items and offer advice on how best to use them. A toe guard is a good idea as it will help to prevent toe damage and also stop water ingression and reduce friction damage when used on indoor surfaces, hard pitches or when tapping at the crease. A clear antiscuff face will help prevent damage to the face and slow the process of the natural cracking of the willow. We don't want to force these extra expenses on people (please note: we have kept our prices to a minimum on these protective items) but they really will extend the life of your bat without compromising on performance, they are also best used on a new bat as a preventatative measure rather than as a repair when the damage will already have been done. WE STRONGLY ADVISE FITTING A TOE GUARD TO YOUR BAT, THEY PROTECT AGAINST SO MUCH POTENTIAL DAMAGE TO THE VULNERABLE TOE AREA. Application of an antiscuff face and toe guard (if required) should be done at the end of the bat preparation cycle, ie after the oiling and knocking in is complete.
1. HANDLE BREAKS
CAUSE - General wear and tear or possible manufacturing fault.
SOLUTION - The bat itself is not replaceable, but the handle may be repaired or replaced at the MANUFACTURER'S discretion. Handle replacement will return the bat to a like new condition and will not reduce future life or performance.
2. CATASTROPHIC BREAKAGE TO THE BLADE
CAUSE - Weak or excessively dry willow, or unseen faults within the willow cleft.
SOLUTION - Potentially replaceable by full or partial credit, at MANUFACTURER'S discretion depending on age, general condition and treatment of the bat. Usually proof of purchase with date is required.
3. SURFACE CRACKING TO THE FACE OF THE BLADE
FITTING AN ANITSCUFF MAY HELP REDUCE THIS TYPE OF DAMAGE
CAUSE - General wear and tear, use of hard cheap balls, inadequate knocking in or oiling.
SOLUTION - NOT REPLACEABLE, crack will not affect the performance of the bat. Repairable at the MANUFACTURER'S discretion.
4. SURFACE CRACKING TO THE EDGE OF THE BLADE
FITTING FIBRE TAPE ALONG THE EDGES MAY HELP REDUCE THIS TYPE OF DAMAGE
CAUSE - General wear and tear, mis-timed or mis-hit shots, inadequate knocking in.
SOLUTION - NOT REPLACEABLE, crack will not affect the performance of the BAT. Repairable at the MANUFACTURER'S discretion. Quite significant cracks can be repaired, damage caused by mishits may be chargeable.
5. SURFACE CRACKING TO THE TOE OF THE BLADE
FITTING A TOE GUARD WILL REDUCE THIS TYPE OF DAMAGE
CAUSE - general wear and tear. This type of damage is often caused by the striking of a "yorker" delivery and/or excessive tapping of the crease, especially on hard (indoor) surfaces.
SOLUTION - NOT REPLACEABLE, crack will not affect the performance of the BAT. Repairable at the MANUFACTURER'S discretion. Compression damage can also often be repaired but may be chargeable.
6. SPLIT THROUGH THE TOE AREA OF THE BLADE
CAUSE - This type of damage is caused by the striking of a ball at, or near the base of the blade, e.g. the driving of a "yorker".
SOLUTION - Repairable and/or replaceable at the MANUFACTURER'S discretion, depending on age, condition and treatment. This is usually goodwill as damage is inevitably caused by mis-hits or hitting "yorkers", not as a result of a fault with the bat.
7. CRACKING TO THE SHOULDER OF THE BLADE
CAUSE - General wear and tear, mis-hit shots, ball strikes in and around the splice and handle area.
SOLUTION - NOT REPLACEABLE, repairable at the MANUFACTURER'S discretion. May not actually effect performance, all depends on the exact location, nature and severity of the cracks.
8. MOISTURE DAMAGE
FITTING A TOE GUARD WILL HELP PREVENT THIS TYPE OF DAMAGE
CAUSE - this type of damage occurs as a result of use in damp or wet conditions. It generally leads to swelling of the toe area of the blade, which after drying may well split.
SOLUTION - NOT REPLACEABLE, there is no fault in the manufacturing or the materials used. The damage may be repairable at the MANUFACTURERS discretion and the CUSTOMER'S cost.
9. DAMAGE DUE TO MISUSE OF THE BAT OR BY ACCIDENT
CAUSE -Generally caused by accidentally striking an object other than the ball, for example the stumps, dressing room wall or being accidentally trodden on by your team mates in the dressing room.
SOLUTION - NOT REPLACEABLE, may be repairable at the CUSTOMER'S expense.
10. DAMAGE DUE TO THE USE OF POOR QUALITY CRICKET BALLS
Poor quality or excessively hard cricket balls can be a cause of many types of crack damage to the blade of the bat, as previously illustrated. ALL CRICKET BAT MANUFACTURERS recommend that only balls of reputable manufacture are used. Use of any other style or type of ball may cause damage to bats and WILL affect any claim made.
1. CRICKET BAT WILLOW - 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, but will be much worse if a bat is under prepared before use.
2. KASHMIR WILLOW - Willow grown overseas (usually India or Pakistan) is by its very 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. These sort of bats are often heavier than English willow bats, but are also much cheaper.
3. RETURNS - All 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.
4. 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 his bat will depend upon: a) The amount of use, b) The standard of play - higher standard generally equates to shorter life due to quicker bowling, harder hitting etc., c) The weight of the bat (heavier blades tend to be more durable than lighter ones), d) The care with which the bat is treated and prepared.
5. AGE OF THE CRICKET BAT - Bats over TWELVE 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 even without use (simply due to the natural drying out process especially if stored incorrectly).
6. IN CASE OF DAMAGE - Immediate action should be taken. This normally necessitates withdrawal from play whilst repairs are carried out. It is vital the repairs are carried out by professional bat makers. The manufacturers are unable to guarantee repair work carried out by non-approved repairers.
7. STORAGE - To ensure that a bat remains in good condition it is essential that it is not stored in excessively warm conditions (e.g. near to central heating or in car boots). This will cause the bat to dry out and precipitate future problems. The bat should ideally be stored in cool conditions in a position that will allow a little of the moisture from the atmosphere to be absorbed.
PREPARATION FOR PLAY
The CRICKET BAT MANUFACTURERS recommend the following principles for the preparation and maintenance of cricket bats. Following these procedures will significantly reduce the possibility of damage occurring.
OILING - 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. Light coats should be applied to the face, edge, toe and back of the blade, taking care to avoid the logos and splice area. Generally two or three coats should be sufficient. Each coat should be allowed to dry into the blade, which should be kept in a horizontal position before the next is applied.
DO NOT OVER OIL - DO NOT STAND THE BAT IN OIL
DO NOT LEAVE THE BAT IN A VERTICAL POSITION AFTER OILING
BATS WITH FULL PROTECTIVE COATINGS SHOULD NOT HAVE OIL APPLIED, BUT THEY MUST BE CONDITIONED AS DETAILED BELOW
ALTERNATIVELY- It is possible to fit a clear Anti-scuff or similar cover. This does not negate the requirement to "knock-in" the bat. The cover may assist the durability of the bat, but under no circumstances will it totally prevent surface damage.
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 that protects the bat against the impact of the ball. Effective "knocking-in" will significantly improve the performance and increase the lifespan of the bat.
STAGE ONE: 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. 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.
STAGE TWO: 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 "stage one" for further conditioning. This stage should be performed for at least another hour. 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". In addition to these steps it is recommended that the purchaser follows closely the "bat care" instructions issued by the manufacturer.
UNLESS YOUR BAT HAS BEEN FULLY PREPARED BEFORE PURCHASE IT WILL GENERALLY TAKE AROUND TWO WEEKS FOR YOU TO HAVE YOUR BAT READY FOR USE. PREMATURE USAGE BEFORE A BAT HAS BEEN FULLY PREPARED IS THE ONE OF THE BIGGEST CAUSES OF BAT DAMAGE. IN ORDER TO GET THE BEST OUT OF YOUR BAT DO NOT BE TEMPTED TO USE IT IN MATCH OR FULL PRACTICE CONDITIONS UNTIL YOU ARE SURE IT IS FULLY PREPARED - NORMALLY AT LEAST TWO WEEKS AFTER PURCHASE.
As a pioneer in the cricket retail industry in the UK we are very pleased to share the information in this section for the education of our customers and cricket players in general. Should you wish to use this information in other places, even on other commercial websites (as at least 3 other UK based websites have done previously without our permission) please feel free to do so, however we do respectfully ask that you remember some of the work, (ie most of the top section above the bat damage pictures) is our own work and therefore subject to Copyright laws. If you use this work elsewhere please credit Quantum Cricket as the original source and include a link to this page. Thank you. (c) Quantum Cricket - 2012
Last updated: 26.12.2011 - 17:43.