Here at Cricket Supplies we like to offer friendly and sound advice on how best to to buy a bat, which we know can be tricky online, how to prepare it for use and how to look after it.
So what does the manufacturers term "Knocked In" really mean. These bats are classed as pre-knocked in which means that they are part prepared in the factory, including oiling, pressing under a roller and some hand mallet knocking in.
Here at cricket supplies and along with the manufacturers still recommend some further knocking in with a bat mallet around the perimeter of the face of the bat and some gentle net practice against an older, softer cricket ball before full match use. We believe that a bat is an investment of both your money and your time - and with knocking in we believe that the more you put in the more you will get out - in simply put terms!.
Immediate play with your bat regardless of any manufacturers pre-treatment is not advised. A minimum of 14 days pre use knocking in preparation is considered as a reasonable time period especially before full match use - bearing in mind our advise just above. It is widely accepted amongst good cricketers and good bat manufacturers that a bat is a tool of the trade, its raw materials are naturally grown and not man made. A good bat is produced by craftsmen and their aim is to combine excellent hitting power with durability. The combination is not always, if at all easy. Softer pressed bats tend to go better but are even more likely to crack. The harder pressed bats last longer but often hitting power is compromised. The bat makers aim is to strike a balance between the two to make the best all round cricket bat. We know about bats and look for this all important combination when ordering all our cricket bats
We understand the importance of the pick up and feel of a bat. All bat makers and batsmen alike agree that this is far more important than the dead weight of the bat. With careful attention to balance, a bat maker can produce even say a 2lb 13oz bat with a very light pick up weight. For this reason we give a weight range indication for all bats that we stock and grade them from light, medium or heavy where applicable to a particular bat. This enables you to select the exact bat you are looking for by selecting from the drop down lists that we provide with each bat.
You can then be assured that our expert staff will send you the correct pick up that you are looking for, in effect we try to become your ears, eyes and arms in interpreting your requirements. If for any reason you think we have got it wrong, we will either exchange or refund your bat if not totally satisfied, no quibble.....we understand how personal choosing a cricket bat is !
Hopefully the following notes, put together with the help of some of the best UK bat makers, will help you understand the characteristics of a cricket bat and guide you in the decision making process of choosing a new bat.
Most bats are made from English Willow which by nature is a soft fibrous wood, with a honeycomb type cell structure. It is perfect for the manufacture of cricket bats because of its natural moisture and its ability to be pressed in the manufacturing process to give great ball striking qualities. Starter and particularly smaller Junior size bats tend to utilise more lower priced Kashmir Willow... this is harder and therefore more resilient but generally gives less ball striking satisfaction. Our Willow grading guide is set out below :-
Grade 1 plus - G1+.... the very best of English willow, often reserved for the manufacturers own Pro Players and utilised in such bats described as Limited Edition, Ultimate, SPS or Pro-Performance. Unbleached with straight even grains and absolute minimal marking or discolouration in the face.
Grade 1 - G1 .... top quality English Willow, used in such bats described as Pro, Original, Titanium, Premier or Players. Good straight grain structure and unbleached with minimal marking or discolouration in the face.
Grade 2 - G2 ... Unbleached English Willow with some irregular grain patterning and some minor blemishes and possible reddening in the blade.
Grade 3 - G3 ..... Usually unbleached English Willow with irregular grain pattern and some marking and discolouration in the blade.
Grade 4 - G4 ... English Willow usually bleached and often non oil with a covering to the face of the bat.
We hope that these few ideas and pictorial advice will help you prepare and look after your new bat and help you enjoy many hours of run scoring enjoyment at the crease.