Every English Willow bat must be either oiled and/or have a sheet of extratec applied to the face prior to using the bat against a ball.
Oiling – maintains moisture levels in bats and reduces the chances of splitting and cracking. Use a cloth to apply cricket bat or linseed oil to the bat. Apply oil to the face, edges and blade avoiding the splice and labels (only exposed timber should be oiled). Generally three to four initial coats should be sufficient and one coat every three to four weeks thereafter. Lay the bat down for about 24 hours after applying each coat to enable the blade to dry. Note: if the bat has anti scuff sheet, oil can still be applied to the exposed timber. This should be performed once every eight weeks or so with a very light coat.
Anti scuff sheet – is a clear self adhesive protective cover for your bat, covering the entire hitting area. It is by far the best form of protection and 90% of our customers enjoy the benefits of having extratec on their bats. It also keeps moisture in the bat, but it is still a good idea to oil the exposed timber once every eight weeks or so with a very light coat.
THE KNOCKING IN STAGE:
Knocking in is the process by which the grains and fibres in the bat are compressed and strengthened to prepare it for use. This process is vital for all English Willow bats and must be performed with patience and care. The best thing to use is either a bat mallet or ball mallet. You will need to spend anywhere up to 12 hours 'knocking in' the bat after it is pressed. There are four areas that need to be prepared on your bat: the face, the toe and each edge. Your main areas of focus should be the edges and the toe, but you will still need to spend some time (two to three hour should be sufficient) on the face.
Glance the mallet off the edges at a 45 degree angle rather than hitting into the edge. Starting off soft and building up will slowly make your edges rounder. The rounder the edges the stronger they are, so you want to aim to get them as round as possible. The same applies for the toe, but this should be hit on the bottom 10cm on the face of the bat. Remember it’s very important to be hitting the bat quite hard with the mallet towards the end of this process to prepare the bat for match use.
When you think you have sufficiently knocked in your bat with the mallet, take the bat to the nets with an old leather ball. Start with throw downs and work up from there. This way you should be hitting the ball gently at first and harder as you progress. Inspect the bat after every shot played, if you see any dents or seam marks in the bat then it is not ready for use yet and must be pulled away from ball use immediately. It means you still need to do more work with the mallet (you should spend at least another half an hour on each area if indentations occur). Repeat the above knocking in process until you think your bat is ready for another net session.
By the end of this process you should be hitting a ball as hard as you can, facing a fast bowler without the bat showing any denting or seam marks from the ball. If this is the case, your bat is ready for match use.
The overall process should take about two weeks and there is no limit on the number of hours and amount of effort you spend knocking in your bat. The more work you put in, the longer it will last and the better it will perform.
There is definitely no warranty on products with moisture damage, bat damage that occurs due to a lack of preparation (knocking-in) or damage that occurs because of improper use. Bats must also be either scuff sheet or oiled correctly for a valid warranty. Labels/stickers are also to be kept on your bat or warranty may be voided. Bats with broken handles, cracks and other minor problems that occur within the time of the warranty you need to send back to the us for repair.
It takes an average of 14 working days to assess and/or repair the problem. Most claims most can not be remedied on the spot.
Repetitive and excessive use against a bowling machine can severely decrease a bats lifespan. We recommend you be mindful of the amount of use your new bat receives from a bowling machine within its first 12 months of purchase.
When claiming a warranty, proof of purchase needs to be provided to by the customer. Proof of purchase is either a receipt (which is provided by Vulcan cricket with every purchase) or a valid bank statement.
Cricket bats are made from a natural material that has the incredibly hard task of hitting a solid object repeatedly. A small amount of cracking is normal and has no impact on the performance of the bat. Small cracks can usually be sanded out and have been appearing on cricket bats for centuries. Cracking is not a sign of a faulty bat, but an indication your bat requires further knocking in.
A cricket bat is NOT going to look new forever and cracks will appear on the willow.
The lifespan of a bat depends on how much it is used and how well it is taken care of. You should keep your bat out of excessively warm conditions and wet weather. A toe guard/shoe goo should be fitted for extra protection against toe damage.