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Bat care and preparation for play

FOCUS CRICKET recommends the following principles for the preparation and maintenance of cricket bats.

Following these procedures will significantly reduce the possibility of damage occurring.



All natural faced bats MUST be treated using raw linseed or a specialist cricket bat wax. 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, 2 or 3 light coats should be sufficient. Each coat should be allowed to dry for a day into the blade in a horizontal position before the next is applied. Cricket Bat Warning Do not over oil – Do not stand the bat in oil – Do not stand the bat in a vertical position after oiling – Bats with full protective coatings should not have oil applied, but they must be conditioned as detailed Alternativley  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.

Stage 1 -  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 will likely cause damage. Alternatively you can roll the edges with a timber rolling pin to round them off.

Stage 1 should take in the region of six hours, although it may vary as every bat is different.

Stage 2 – The next step is to graduate 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.

Stage 3 – Introduce the bat at training in a gentle controlled session using old, quality cricket balls with gentle stroke play – do not introduce expansive shots.

Once these steps have been taken, the bat should be ready for use in matches. If seam marks are present after ball contact, stop using and return to the knocking in process until the willow is fully knocked in and seam marks cease. It is advisable to initially avoid use against the ‘new ball’.



The worst thing a player can do - Please don't...

    • Over oil an untreated, plain, non-synthetically covered blade, thus increasing the weight and making the willow dead with no drive, creating “oil rot” in the wood.


    • Wash a bat clean with water – never wash the bat with water.


    • Expose the bat to damp conditions.


    • Constantly tapping the toe of the bat in the crease on a wet wicket, thus saturating the base of the bat, causing the pressing to lift and the base of the bat to swell and generally crack horizontally.


    • Use it without “Knocking in” or treatment.


    • Continual “edging” thus causing bruising and unnecessary indentations.


    • Hit “Yorkers” on the toe of the blade, thus denting and bruising the willow causing it generally to split horizontally through the bat. Be extra careful on indoor, hard or synthetic wickets as these hard surfaces will damage the toe.


    • Using cheap cricket balls (especially those with hard centres) which bruise and dent the willow. Many bats are dented due to this reason.


    • Continuing play with a damaged bat may cause the bat to become unrepairable.


    • Never store your bat in the car or car boot. You must avoid exposure to the extremes of temperature as this will dry the bat out and result in the bat cracking or splitting.

English Willow

English Willow is a natural product prone to superficial damage from the impact of a cricket ball, hence proper preparation is paramount to avoid damage. Minor cracks and indentations are common on all cricket bats and are not warrantable items.

Focus Warranty

We guarantee Focus bats against manufacturing imperfections for 6 months from the date of purchase. Bats must be returned with proof of purchase to support any claim under warranty; failure to adhere to Focus recommendations can affect this guarantee. Willow and cane are natural raw materials used by Focus in accordance with the laws of the game; these raw materials naturally deteriorate with use and cannot be impervious to the effects of poor quality balls, mistimed shots/yorkers, tapping, general wear and tear etc. As a result it is impossible for any manufacturer to give a fixed period of longevity to a cricket bat. If any damage occurs, the bat must be returned promptly to the retailer for advice – minor repairs can easily be completed, leaving damage unattended until beyond repair may be construed as neglect. Not warrantable items that need repairs will be sent to a Focus approved repairer, at the cost of the client if instructed.   Should the client require future servicing and repair work, this will be a chargeable item but is quoted by a Focus approved repairer before any repair work is carried out. Our aim is to look after the bats and our customers with prompt, effective repair work in combination with clear advice on preparation and maintenance, throughout the lifespan of the bat.

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