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About Cricket Bats

About Bats

About bats...friendly and sound advice on how to buy a bat online, prepare it for use and how to look after it.

Firstly, can we try and explain what the manufacturers term "Knocked In" means. 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.

We, 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, in line with our guidance further down this page.

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. We receive many calls from customers chasing delivery of their new bat "for the weekend"...under no circumstances should any new bat be used in play or practice within 14 days of receipt ... this is simply asking for trouble and may affect any after sales service we are able to offer you.

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. Here at owzat-cricket we know about bats and look for this all important balance in all the bats that we buy.

Being cricketers ourselves, 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!

About Willow Grades

About willow grades.... the following notes, put together with the help of some of the best UK bat makers, we hope 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 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.

Bat Damage and Warranty

Customer conversations about damaged cricket bats are probably the most common we have, often with coaches, parents or players new to the game. In this article we will endeavour to explain what you can expect from a cricket bat and which type of damage is normal and when a cricket bat will need to be sent back to us for a close up inspection. 

Firstly, it is important to remember that cricket bats are made from willow, a soft fibrous wood which gives excellent rebound qualities when hit with a hard leather ball. The downside to this is that it will crack, split and dent. This can happen at any time, but usually most cracks appear right from the outset when the wood is still soft and not fully compressed. For this reason, we always recommend knocking your cricket bat in with a wooden bat mallet, particularly around the edges of the face and toe area where the wood is most vulnerable from mis-timed shots and "Yorkers" (where the player jams the bat between the ground and the toe/bottom edge of the bat). The longer you can knock a bat in and use it in the nets gently with an older ball, the less likely your bat will crack during the first few weeks of use. 

Also, it is important to remember, that the idea that the more expensive the bat, the longer it will last is certainly not the case as more expensive bats are prone to more damage because they are graded for top performance and rebound meaning the wood is even softer and more susceptible to damage. However, there is no way to ever eliminate cracking and you should expect cracks and dents to appear on your bat throughout its use.

Below are some typical pictures of small cracks and handle damage.
Cricket Bat with small cracks

If damage is similar to the above two on the left, where the crack has not gone through to the back of the bat, then this is perfectly normal and is nothing to worry about. It will not affect the performance of the bat in any way. It is purely visual and the bat can be used without any worry at all. Even if you think it may get worse, you should still continue to use the bat as in the majority of cases, the damage will not deteriorate to the point where the bat is unusable. If the handle has worked loose like the two images to the right, we will re-handle the bat free of charge it is is less than 12 months old.

We recommend oiling your bat once a year and applying a clear anti scuff sheet which will help retain the oil and prevent the cracks from spreading. Cracks around the edges and toe should be taped with fibre bat tape. Linseed oil, bat tape and anti scuff can be found on the bat care page of our website under bat accessories. Please keep your eye on the toe of the bat, wet and dampness is one of the worse things that could cause problems, if there is no toe guard or the guard drops off then treat with varnish or a layer of glue to protect.

Occasionally, bats may genuinely break, across the face either or a split through the toe. In this case the bat will become unusable and feel "dead" when you bounce a ball on it. Below are some photos showing this kind of damage.

Cricket Bats with splits

If your bat resembles any of the damage above, then it will need to be sent back to the bat maker for inspection. If this is within 6 months of purchase then a free of charge repair (if that is possible) or a replacement will be offered. Bats purchased outside of this period can either be repaired for a small fee or at our discretion, we may offer a discount off another bat if the bat is less than 12 months old.

If you feel that a bat you purchased from us within the last 12 months is genuinely broken, the please email us some pictures and we will be able to advise you if we think a return is necessary.

Bat Preparation & Maintenance

Once you have your new bat we hope that these few tips will help you prepare and look after your new pride and joy....enabling it to give you many hours of run scoring enjoyment at the crease. Firstly a note about pre-prepared or pre-knocked in bats ....this means that they are part prepared in the factory, including oiling, pressing under a roller and some hand mallet knocking in. We, 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.

Knocking In 1
Cricket Bat Sanding

Knocking In 2
Cricket Bat Knocking In

Knocking In 3

Cricket Bat anti scuff sheet

Knocking in 4

Cricket Bat Toe Guards

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