Cricket bat preparation & care
A SIGMA cricket bat is either made from English Willow (Salix Ceraelea) or Kashmir Willow which in its natural state is soft fibrous wood. As such it requires preparation before it can be used to strike a cricket ball.
All bats are pressed during production, this pressing gives a degree of conditioning and also enhances the ‘drive’ (or power) of the bat. SIGMA cricket bats are custom pressed, which means that our bat maker will assess each cleft and determine how much pressure must be used to optimize drive and durability for that particular piece of willow.
The biggest bat won’t necessarily make you hit the ball further if you aren’t strong enough to play your shots correctly. Consequently, a bat that is too light may hinder your potential. This is why it’s better to focus on the pickup of a bat rather than weight.
Use Raw Linseed Oil only. Oil maintains moisture levels in bats & assists in enhancing protection. Apply Oil lightly to the Face, Edges, Toe & Blade avoiding the splice & any labels. Generally, 2-3 initial coats are sufficient & one coat every 8-12 weeks thereafter (providing your bat is natural). Each coat must be left to dry in the horizontal position for around 24 hours before the next coat.
Once you have oiled your bat, you can start the knocking in process. With your specialized bat mallet start hitting the blade repeatedly with even blows across the length and width. Start with light to medium knocks gradually increasing the power of the knock. Pay special attention to the edges and toe of the bat, which should be struck at 45 degrees to the blade and use lighted strokes. this will help to harden and slightly round the edges to protect it from edge shots. Also be careful hitting towards the toe area, as this is a very fragile area of the bat hence light strokes should be used. Knocking-in takes patience and we recommend roughly 2-3 hours should be adequate. Do not try to knock on the edge of the bat at 90 degrees to the blade, the back of the bat (which is in contact with the ground) or the splice area.
Before using your new SIGMA bat for match play, we recommend using the bat for light net sessions with an old cricket ball to asses if it is ready to play start with a slow pace and slowly build up. Should small seam indentations or fine cracks appear, return to knocking in with an old ball, as the blade is not ready yet. Repeat this process until the issue stops occurring.
It is natural for your cricket bat to develop surface cracks during normal usage. Surface cracks may appear more frequently with the age of the bat and is a sign of maturity. This does not affect the performance of your cricket bat and some cracking is expected. We do recommend the use of a facing tape which helps reduce surface cracking and increase the longevity of your bat.
LIFESPAN OF A CRICKET BAT
Being made of natural material there is no definite time frame within which your bat will last. To obtain the maximum life and performance please adhere to the care and preparation instructions. Constantly monitor the blade of your bat, maintain and store it correctly especially in moist or wet environments. We highly recommend having a toe guard and facing on your bat.