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 Cricket Bat Care Guide
Knocking In
Knocking in is the process by which the fibres of the willow blade are compressed and knitted together to help prevent damage from the
impact of a cricket ball. This is best done by using an old ball or bat mallet. It is not sufficient to hit a few balls in the nets or in the
garden. Knocking in should be done in a patient and thorough manner and should take no less than 6 hours in total . To a large extent, the
effective life of your bat is determined by the thoroughness of your knocking in process. You are trying to make the toe and edges in
particular harder than when the bat was purchased, to minimise the damage from an edged stroke.
How Do I Knock In My New Slazenger Bat? 
1. Using an old ball or a bat mallet like a hammer and deflect
gently off the edges the way a ball might in a game.
2. Increase the force and work the edges until they show a
rounded, compact appearance.
3. Use the bat to hit short catches (i.e. very light work on the face)
or bounce a cricket ball up and down on the face.
4. Use the bat in the nets against old softer balls.
5. Use the bat in the nets against newer balls.
 Causes Of Damage
Dry bat
It is important to store your bat wisely to prevent the willow drying out and becoming brittle. Ideally you should store your bat in a garage
or shed where the wood can absorb some moisture from the atmosphere.
DO NOT leave your bat close to a central heating radiator or fire.
DO NOT leave your bat in your car boot or rear window where the
temperature will soar.
Toe swells due to damp.
When the toe of your bat swells this has been caused by water/dampness getting up into the wood fibres. Avoid this by doing
one of the following:
1. Applying a light coat of oil to toe before each game.
2. Use of a sealant to prevent water penetrating.
3. Applying a toe guard before bat
is used.
However if the toe of the bat is
swollen there are two
1. Place the toe of the bat in a woodworking vice, being careful to cushion both sides of the blade to prevent damage.
2. Allow damp area to dry normally
then use an old ball to knock out
the swollen area.
Edge and toe damage
The majority of bats will be damaged if the batsman edges a quick ball or digs out a fast yorker. The bat must be put in for repair as no willow
will withstand such impact. Knocking in properly, however will reduce risk.
Surface cracking
Willow is not manufactured. Surface cracks or crazing will appear on the face of all bats after a period of use. The knocking in period is
vitally important in minimising surface cracks. Surface cracks do not harm the bats performance but proper knocking in delays the
appearance of these cracks.
Far too many bats coming back for repair have been over-oiled. There is a danger that you can damage the wood fibres by over oiling. It is
better not to oil than to over-oil. Polyarmour bats or bats with face tape do not need oiling other than perhaps a very light coat to the toe to avoid water getting in and
causing the wood to swell.
To oil your bat properly
1. Using a soft rag, apply a light coat of oil to the front, edges, toe
and back of the bat blade.
2. Keep bat in a horizontal position.
3. After 2 weeks, lightly sand with very fine sandpaper and apply
another light coat of linseed oil to the face, edges and toe (not
the back).
4. Repeat after 2 more weeks ensuring the bat is kept horizontal
between oilings.
5. Only use raw linseed oil.
 Imperfections in Willow
There are many imperfections found in the English Willow Tree that goes on to still be present in the finished bat. Here we give an overview of the most
common to reassure the consumer that they are only cosmetic. Probably the most common imperfection found is the small
knot or "pin knot". These are generally up to 10 mm in diameter and are still living. Normally they will be present in the edge and / or back of the bat although sometimes
they are visible on the face. They will not affect the playing of the bat at all. "Speck" is another which is due entirely to the growing
conditions of the tree. The tree has grown in earth containing a lot of gravel and / or stones. The tree has taken tiny molecules up into itself with water and this gets
deposited along in between the grains. It is purely cosmetic and is also the sign of a strong bat that will last. This is "Butterfly Stain", so called as it resembles the body
and wings of a butterfly. It is actually attributed to the tree being of a hybrid of English Cricket Bat Willow; it is very strong and plays well. It is just a matter if you like to have a bat that looks a bit special. This is a more pronounced form of Butterfly Stain and is known as Bar Stain. Again the wood is very strong and
you can tell the difference from Butterfly Stain by the fact that this has many "Bars" of stain very close together. A very common imperfection is the "False Growth". This is caused when for some reason the tree has stopped growing for maybe one season. It can be caused by drought, fire or weed killer. Nine times out of ten there is
no weakness in the bat and they will certainly not break along the False Growth. It will normally run parallel to the normal grains.
This blade has a brown line down the middle as you can see in the photograph. It has been caused by the roots having been cut either by a digger or perhaps a plough. It
is rot in the very early stages but not to the detriment of the playing ability.
 This is a "dead knot". The tree has been trimmed up very late and the resulting branch has been left to grow for many years. Before this can be used to make a bat the knot is drilled out and filled. As long as it is not on the face of the bat it will have very little detrimental effect on the playability.
Sometimes it can be difficult choosing items for people on the internet, that's why we have provided you with an online sizing guide, to help you choose the best size of bat, pads, gloves and clothing for yourself or for your kids. If the guide below does not answer your questions, you can always email us or give us a call to discuss your issues.
 Cricket Bat Sizing
Bat Size Chart
Suggested Bat Sizes
Height Size
1.75m & Over FULL SIZE
1.68m to 1.75m ACADEMY
1.63m to 1.68m HARROW
1.57m to 1.63m 6
1.50m to 1.57m 5
1.44m to 1.50m 4
1.37m to 1.44m 3
1.29m to 1.37m 2
0.00m to 1.29m 1
Bat Weights
Actual Weight
Light 2lb 7 oz - 2lb 9oz
Medium 2lb 9 oz - 2lb 11 oz
Heavy 2lb 11 oz > 3lb
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