Knowing how to knock in a cricket bat is not something most Yanks think about, though a few lucky ones might. Americans lucky enough to live in Bermuda will inevitably end up watching cricket matches because it is the best (actually the only) game in town. At first, it looks like baseball slowed down played by grown men. But soon the nuances, tradition and excitement of the matches will grow on you. You might even give the game the ol' college try which is why you are here trying to figure out how to knock in your brand new cricket bat.
- A word about bats. Cricket bats are old. Like 17th century old. Tradition is a huge part of the game of cricket so they tend to make them from the same old original materials. Nine times out of ten this is willow wood. A brand spanking new cricket bat is a brittle thing that needs to be beaten into a malleable form. This gives the cricket bat some ping which helps launch the ball and protect the bat from snapping.
- Pressed bats. Some cricket bats are machine knocked and so you think you may not need to know how to knock in a cricket bat. Well, you are wrong. The robot is smart and benefits mankind but it does not know squat about cricket bats. A pressed bat is slightly less work for the player to knock it in but it still needs some work to accommodate the player's style. Do not rely on the robot.
- How to do it. To knock in a cricket bat, you will need time, an old softball and linseed oil. The process takes anywhere from a couple hours to a couple days depending upon the player's preferences in regards to how much give the willow wood should have. Spread a thin layer of linseed oil over the cricket bat and start knocking. Go for at least fifteen stretches, but if something good is on TV just keep knocking.
- Technique. When you start to knock in a cricket bat, the indention you are going for is purely a player's preference. If you have no idea what that means then look at a pressed cricket bat for a rough guide. When you start the process to knock in a cricket bat, remember the edges. They need some softening up too, otherwise they will become the weak point of the cricket bat.