A cricket bat is probably the most expensive item in your cricket bag, so it makes sense to get the right one. Below is a guide to assist you in choosing the right Cricket Bat for you. Ideally call in to our Specialist Cricket shop where we can offer you expert advice and you can try out a few Cricket bats.
Choosing the correct Cricket bat is vital for the proper technical development of young cricketers. Please ensure your bat is not too long or too heavy to hinder correct stroke play and good technique. We recommend that you always feel the bat before you buy it.
Below is a Cricket Bat Weight and Size Guide as well as a guide to Oiling & Knocking in your Cricket Bat
CRICKET BAT WEIGHT GUIDE
For a better idea on which bat weight to purchase, please see the chart below for a breakdown of weights.
Extra Light: Any weight <2lb 6oz
Light: 2lb 7oz - 2lb 8oz
Medium: 2lb 9oz - 2lb 10oz
Heavy: 2lb 11 oz - 2lb 12oz
Extra Heavy: Any weight > 2lb 13oz
Bat size, adult and junior
If you are buying for an adult, your main decision is whether to buy a short handle (SH) or long handle (LH) bat. Short handle is what the majority of players will use, so unless you are very tall get yourself a short handle bat.
Buying for a junior is a touch more difficult, as there are many size bats depending on the height of the child. It is very important to get the right size bat, so as tempting as it is to get something to 'grow into', get the right size bat or the child will struggle to use it properly. If you get a bat too big or heavy, then they will find it very hard to play correct shots and so will not score many runs.
Only ever select a cricket bat that that you can comfortably hold at arms length horizontally in front of you
BAT SIZE GUIDE
For a better idea on which size bat to purchase, please see the chart below for an approximate breakdown of size to height ratio.
Type of Willow
English Willow: This is a soft, fibrous timber. This type of willow is the preferred choice for the majority of bat manufacturers due to its high performance effect when striking the ball.
Kashmir Willow: Kashmir willow comes from India. This is largely utilised by Cricket bat manufacturers as a substitute for English Willow. The Kashmir willow is regarded as a harder wood and in comparison to English willow, It does not have the same performance effect i.e. a player will not experience the same "sweet spot" when striking the ball. Kashmir willow will only be used for lower range and lower priced cricket bats. It is unlikely that a regular adult player, playing at a reasonable standard would choose to use a Kashmir willow Cricket Bat.
Pre - Knocked or Pre-Prepared
Bats that come "pre-knocked" in or "pre-prepared". This means that the manufacturers have employed some special machinery to compress the bats and mimic the "Knocking-in" process. However all manufacturers will still recommend Cricket Bats be knocked in for a short duration. Instead of knocking the bat in for long periods of time using a hardwood bat mallet, you could conduct some short practice slip catches using an old cricket ball. Knocking the face in further will be beneficial in developing the cricket bats overall performance.
Guide to oiling and knocking in your cricket bat prior to use.
OILING All natural faced bats MUST be treated using raw linseed or a specialist cricket bat oil. The main purpose of oiling is to maintain moisture levels within the blade, and hence reduce the chances of cracking and splitting.
Light coats should be applied to the face, edge, toe and back of the blade - taking care to avoid the logos and the splice area. Generally two or three coats should be sufficient. Each coat should be allowed to dry into the blade in a horizontal position before the next is applied.
It is possible to fit a clear Anti-scuff or similar cover. This does not negate the requirement to 'knock in' the bat. The cover may assist the durability of the bat, but under no circumstances will it totally prevent surface damage.
KNOCKING IN All bats are pressed, however 'knocking in' is VITAL. This is the process by which the fibres of the willow in the face and edges are compressed together to form a barrier, which protects the bat against the impact of the ball. Effective 'knocking in' will significantly improve the performance and increase the lifespan of the bat. If a bat has been "Pre-knocked-in" by the manufacturer then this time can be reduced, but pre-knocked in means just that - it's been PRE-knocked in. .....Pre-knocked in DOES NOT mean "knocked in")
The 'knocking in' process should be undertaken carefully, using a special bat mallet or an old, quality cricket ball. The bat should be repeatedly struck (with gradually increasing force) in all areas where one would normally expect to hit the ball, this conditioning must be performed with patience. Particular attention should be given to the edges, although the edges or toe should NOT be struck directly at right-angles to the blade. This would be likely to cause damage.
This stage should take in the region of six hours, although it may vary as every bat is different.
The next step is to graduate to the use of the bat to hit short catches with an old, quality cricket ball. However, if the seam marks the blade, it is necessary to return to 'Stage one' for a further conditioning. This stage should be performed for at least another hour.
Once these steps have been taken, the bat should be ready for use in matches.
Added Protection – Cricket Bat cover After knocking your bat in, you may wish to add a protective cover(Bat Face) to the cricket bat. This should be positioned and fitted approximately 3-5mm from the toe of the bat, with the cover running up the face of the Cricket Bat and finishing just below the bat manufacturers label. AT ED Sports we will fit the bat cover for you free of charge.
Video on how to oil and knock in your bat can be seen here
The toe on all cricket bats can be vulnerable to breakages. It can be better prevented through fitting a toe guard. Many cricket bats now come with a toe guard already attached. We sell Toe Guards from our shop or online, Click here to see a video on fitting the Toe Guard to your Cricket Bat.