How to season a cricket batSeasoning of cricket bats is an essential process to improve the performance and durability of the bats. The top-level batters spend considerable time and money to season their cricket bats. Let us try to understand its importance and know how to season a cricket bat. I hope young batters would be benefitted from this post.
Seasoning of a cricket bat involves preparing the willow wood (cricket bats are made from willow wood) for improved rebound and to prevent cracks in the bat after prolonged use.
To season a cricket bat, the batter (who is going to use the bat) must start by knocking-in the bat. It is done by a wooden mallet to gently tap the face, edges, and toe of the bat. This process compresses the fibers of the willow and prepares the surface of the bat for impact. Special attention is required to the edges and sweet spots (middle) of the bat.
Thereafter, a coat of raw linseed oil to the face, edges, and back of the bat is applied. A clean cloth is used to evenly spread the oil. Then the bat is dried for twenty-four hours. This process is repeated two to three times to ensure complete absorption of the linseed oil. Then the bat is placed in a horizontal position in a cool and dry place. The bat must not be subjected to a very hot or cool environment.
Finally, the bat must be used for net practice. If the batter (and also the coach) is satisfied with the seasoning, only then the particular bat is used in competitive matches.
The budding cricketers must remember that seasoning of cricket bats requires patience and it is imperative that they themselves do the seasoning to get satisfactory performance.
(Competition entry: December 2023 Topic-based contest)