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Once you have purchased your bat, it's very important to remember that it must be carefully looked after. A bat is made from naturally grown willow that been carefully grown and cared for, for many years and this care must be continued with, for the full life of your bat. You will have paid alot of money for your bat, so we would like to help you take care of it. The tips below should help is doing that.
Oiling (Uncovered Bats)
Many bats need to be oiled using either raw linseed oil or special bat oil before they are used. A small amount of oil should be applied to the face of the bat. It should then be worked into the rest of the blade as well as the toe, edges and back of the bat. The splice area of the bat should not be oiled as this may soften the glue around that area. The bat should then be kept horizontally on its back for 24 hours so as to allow the oil to soak in. When the bat has dried out any oil that has not soaked in should be removed. To do this fine sandpaper should be used. This process should then be repeated. However, the back of the bat should not be oiled again. Please remember that only a small amount of oil must be used.
Oiling (Bats with a Protective Cover)
Oil should be applied as explained above, but only to the back and uncovered edges and the toe.
It is important that you do not over oil your bat. More bats are spoilt by over-oiling than by under-oiling.
Knocking in Your Bat
Many bats are now pre-knocked in. Pre-knocked in however does not mean ready to go immediately. It means that the majority of preparation work has been done, but that you will need to complete the final part of the process. We therefore recommend that you spend between 2 and 3 hours finishing knocking your bat in.
This is best done with a purpose-made bat mallet, either a smooth wooden mallet or a ball-on-handle mallet. Hit the bat firmly with the bat mallet for a short period, don't just tap it. It is important that you make sure that the toe and the edges of the bat are well knocked-in.
Playing in Your Bat
After you have finished knocking in the bat, we recommend that you play the bat in gently in a net session. Bat in a defensive manner and attempt to hit the ball with the middle of your bat. A soft, old ball should be used in this initial net session.
Additional Care for Your Bat
In addition to this we recommend that you take further precautions to make sure that your bat is well protected from being damaged. For uncovered bats, we suggest that you place a clear protective covering over the face of your bat. We can carry this service out for you. It is also advisable that you place a strip of edge tape along the inside and outside edge of your bat to provide additional protection and minimise the chances of cracking the bat on either of these edges.
Ways to Avoid Damaging Your Bat
Avoid exposing your bat to extreme temperatures. Do not stand your bat in oil. Try and prevent the bat from becoming damp. Do not use cheap hard balls as these will damage your bat. Do not misuse or treat your bat carelessly off the pitch. If you damage your bat, do not continue to use it as this may aggravate the area where the damage has been caused and force it into a state where it is beyond repair. You should store your bat in a cool dry atmosphere in the off season making sure that it is well away from any heat or dampness. Your bat should also be re-oiled after any substantial period where the bat has not been used. It is especially important to do this just prior to using your bat again in pre-season indoor nets. Some minor repairs can be carried out by you. To this end it is important that you carry bat tape in your bag so that you are able to make minor repairs where they are needed immediately.
Damage to Bats
Of course, it is possible that, despite taking all these precautions, the bat could still break with the first ball that it receives in a match. However, if you carry out all of the instructions above, you will greatly reduce the chances of any damage being caused to the bat. The bat is made of wood and is a natural product and therefore there is no guarantee that the bat will not break. Superficial surface cracks can occur, but these should not detract from the performance of the bat.
All cricket bats stocked by VKS are of the highest quality and a great deal of care is taken to make sure that only the best products are sold to our customers. Nonetheless, we accept that sometimes bats can be damaged soon after they are purchased. In circumstances where damage is caused to your bat or if you are unhappy with the performance of the bat, we recommend that you inform us of the problem immediately . Your bat will then be inspected and we will advise you of the action to be taken.