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Knocking in and Oiling your cricket bat.

Take a Ball Mallet start gently knocking the bat, but concentrate on the edges (as these will be the area that will be prone to bruising/damage). Gradually increase the pressure in the way you hit the bat until you are hitting it with quite a force. Bear in mind the hardness of a cricket ball delivered at speed can cause damage if edges are still a little soft. Continue all over the bat until you are confident that you have rounded the edges and hardened the blade. Try to use first in the nets or with an old ball, if the bat is showing no marks from the seam then its ok to use. If the bat is showing deep seam marks from the ball, continue knocking in a little firmer. 

Regarding the oiling, raw Linseed Oil is needed (not boiled). With a soft cloth apply the first coat quite liberally all over any exposed wood areas, including the back, but pay more attention the the bottom and toe of the bat, as these are the areas that will have contact with the ground when it is wet. The oil is really a wood preserver that acts as a moisture barrier and with our typical wet summers it stops the bat swelling if playing when it is wet.  Leave the bat to dry flat (not upright), this may take a few days to dry properly, but common sense will tell when its ready. When its dry apply a second coat on using a cloth but very light, just enough to shine the bat.

Now its ready to go!

It makes no difference whether you oil the bat or knock in first, just if you oil it, you wont be able to knock in until the oil has dried!

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