Depending on your build / strength / style and technique you should request a Light, Medium or Heavy Bat.
What do the “grains” tell me about the bat?
The grains of the bat will give you a rough indication of the quality of the wood. Straight grains running completely through the bat, with 6 or more grains on the bat indicates a top Grade 1 piece of willow. As the grains become less straight and blemishes become more prevalent the grading of the wood decreases. Please note some companies bleach there bats or put fake covers on the bats to hide the quality of the blade. For more information on English Willow please visit http://www.cricketbatwillow.com/
What are surface cracks and what do they mean/entail?
It is always important to remember that cricket bats are made from a soft fibrous wood that is required to hit a hard leather cricket ball travelling at high speeds. Cracks on the cricket bat are common and many of these cracks are from general wear and tear and will not affect the overall last of the bat. We always advise people to email us pictures of cracks on there bats if they are unsure of the severity or cause. We will be able to advise you immediately what the cause may be and how to move forward.
How long will a bat last me?
This is a common question and one that is impossible to answer with any certainty or accuracy. There are so many factors to take into consideration for example:
- How the bat is stored. Continued exposure to extreme heat will dry the bat out and cause it to break prematurely ie leaving the bat in the boot of a car.
- Amount the bat is used. From my experience most of the damage to bats is done whilst practising, as a lot of players spend more time practising then actually batting in the middle. Modern cricketers now train almost everyday, most professional cricketers will carry in excess of 5 bats and replace at least 5 to 6 bats a season.
- Type of Player. Some players play with ‘soft’ hands and others with ‘hard’ hands. Those types of players whom are attacking with hard hands and play a lot of short format cricket will by the nature of their style break bats quicker.
- Types of Balls Faced. Low quality hard balls (whereby the centre of the ball is made from an excessively hard material) will break bats either immediately or over the cause of repeated hitting.
- How the bat is treated / cared for. Bats that have been mistreated or exposed to water damage are more likely to break prematurely.
Bats are designed to give power as well as being light and balanced. With this in mind it is impossible to avoid toe, edge and shoulder damage. The bat is designed to hit the ball towards the middle of the bat and impacts on other areas of the bat can cause breakages which are unavoidable.
How does wood get graded and what do the different grades mean?
The formal grading is done when the wood is still in cleft form. Please visit http://www.cricketbatwillow.com/ for more details on the raw willow.
When we select out bats for our different D&P ranges we take into account the following factors.
- Grain – Number of grains and straightness
- Colouration/Knots – Blemishes / darker wood and the position and amount.
- Weight / Pick-up Weight / Bat profile Size
- Feel / Hitting power. Actually hitting with a mallet or cricket ball to test feel and power
- Handle Shape and Feel
- From many years of dealing with willow and bats you are able to recognise certain characteristics.
Why is the wood darker sometimes in one place compared to another?
Best explained at http://www.cricketbatwillow.com/
What role does the quality of the ball used play in the longevity of the bat?
The ball plays a huge part in how long your bat will last. Inferior balls with excessively hard cores will break your bat. Bats are designed to take the impact of a regulation cricket ball any balls harder than this will cause irreversible damage. We understand it is sometimes hard to avoid these inferior balls but as a cricket bat manufacturing company we can’t be held responsible for damage caused by these balls.
Why does a bat need to be knocked in?
Knocking in is the process whereby the fibres of the bat are fully prepared for the impact of a cricket ball.
How do I knock my bat in correctly?
The face and front edges of the bat should be tapped with a cricket mallet or old leather ball. Be very careful when knocking in the edges as hitting too hard can cause cracks. We generally recommend even if your bat (as with all D&P bats) comes ready to play with that you still spend time gently practising with the bat before taking it against new balls and fast bowlers.
How often is too often when it comes to oiling a bat, and what negative effects will it have?
New cricket bats should get 2 to 3 coats of bat oil on the face, edges, toe and back of the bat (please avoid the splice area). There is no need to oil the face or toe of the bat should they have scuff covers and toe guards, also there is no need to oil where the stickers cover the bat. Once the initial oiling is done a very light sanding should be done before adding anymore oil. This may be done approximately every 6 months. Excessive oil will make the bat heavy and cause the wood to become brittle.
Are anti-scuff guards advisable and why?
Yes anti-scuffs are advisable. They act as a cushion between the bat and the cricket ball.
Do toe guards prevent damage to the toe or not really?
Yes toe guards do help to prevent toe damage.