Mar 31

Caring for Your Cricket Bat

A cricket bat is, together with a ball and some stumps, one of the few pieces of cricket equipment that is essential for even the most casual knockabout. Proper care of a cricket bat, such as oiling and “knocking in”, will significantly increase its life and help you maintain peak performance.

A New Bat

Proper care begins from the moment you purchase your cricket bat. While the temptation is to try out any new piece of cricket equipment at the first opportunity, for the best results you should keep a new bat for at least two weeks before you actually use it. That time should be devoted to oiling and knocking in. When you do put it into service, start by hitting a few short catches to “ease” it into the rigours of full play.


Unless a bat has a full protective coating instead of a natural face, in which case you should follow the manufacturer’s care instructions, your bat will need to be oiled. Use either a specialist cricket-bat oil or pure linseed oil. Do not use too much, as this can be worse than not oiling a bat at all. A single teaspoon should be enough to provide a coat. Put it in a horizontal position to let it dry, and then apply another coat. Three to five coats will probably be enough in total. Further coats should be applied regularly, and before each season.

Knocking In

If your bat is a new one, it is time for knocking in. This process compresses the willow fibres to provide a stronger protective layer. Take an old but good cricket ball, and start lightly bouncing it off the bat, increasing the force as you go along. Do this to all the areas that may hit the ball during play. Then move on to hitting short catches, returning to the previous step if you find that the bat is marked by the seam. After a little of this, your bat is ready to use in real play, although it is advisable to still avoid playing with a very new ball for a while.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>