All Cricket bats will sustain wear and tear during use, this is perfectly natural, and with high collision speeds, it is easy to see why. Normal wear and tear expected from a cricket bat blade is surface cracking to the face and edges and discolouration of the blade, and in these cases the performance of the bat won't be affected.
A-Star Cricket have produced this guide to help our customers maintain the performance of their cricket bats for as long as possible.
Oiling stops the willow from drying out and therefore greatly reduces the risk of cracking. All A-Star Cricket bats are natural faced bats and have been applied with a coat of wax. We recommend that at the start of each season a light coat of specialist bat oil (2 teaspoons) or wax is applied to the blade and edges, using a soft rag. Be careful not to oil the splice, handle, stickers and never stand the bat in oil. It is also very important not to over oil the bat as this can increase the weight and cause ‘wood rot’.
Once the oil or wax is applied, leave in a horizontal position, face up so the oil can soak through the blade. Allow the bat to stand for 24 hours. For best results we recommend that this process is completed 2 to 3 times with 5 to 7 days gap between oiling.
If, at any point during the season you think your bat is looking dry repeat the process of applying a light coat of specialist bat oil (2 teaspoons) or wax.
All A-Star Cricket bats are well pressed to prepare the blade surface for impact. However, for best performance we recommend all bats are knocked-in by hand for 2 to 4 hours.
When you knock in a cricket bat you compress the fibres of the willow and knit them together, so they become tough enough to withstand the impact of a cricket ball. Effective knocking-in will dramatically improve performance and increase the lifespan of the bat.
Using a wooden bat mallet, an old good quality cricket ball, or a new cricket ball inside a sports sock tap the blade of the bat, avoiding the handle, back and splice – and keep tapping, gradually increasing in force. Make sure you pay particular attention to the toe and face edges of the bat, as these are more susceptible to damage, but do not hammer the edges at right angles. You should notice that the edges become rounded and compacted the more you knock them in.
When you have finished knocking the bat in, you should start by practicing in the nets with an old (but good quality) cricket ball, and play in a defensive manner. Perhaps add a few throw downs or slip catching practice to test how well you’ve knocked-in the edges! Then move on to normal practice play and try to play a few more shots – still with a good quality, old ball – before finally unveiling your new A-Star Cricket bat to the world in a match situation.