All RJR natural finished cricket bats will need knocking in, and the more thoroughly this is done the less chance there is of the bat breaking. We can complete this for you prior to you receiving the bat for a small cost if preferred. Knocking in of your bat is best done with an RJR cricket bat mallet. Generally, an old leather cricket ball bounced up and down on the face does not do enough to prepare the bat for match play. The knocking in process should be undertaken with care because the way your bat is knocked in can have a big impact on the performance of the bat. The bat should be repeatedly struck, with gradually increasing force, in all areas of the face below the splice but concentrating on the high impact areas. This bat preparation should be performed repetitively over a number of weeks.
Our recommendation is that it will take up to two to three weeks to properly prepare your bat. Particular attention should be given to rounding the edges, although the edges and toe should not be struck directly at right angles to the blade as this could cause damage. A handy little trick is to lightly roll the edges along a rounded surface such as an edge of a bath tub.
Once you are satisfied you have completed the knocking in process as described, you must then test the bat. Play with the bat in the nets using only the best quality old match balls, face only a few balls then check your bat for any major signs of a softness in the willow. If you have seam marks or deep indentations on the face of the bat, then your RJR bat is not ready for match play and requires more preparation. You must repeat the steps above and then return to the nets and try out again.
As every bat is different, varying times will be required to knock in your bat, so please only use these recommendations as a guide. Cricket is a game of patience, so is bat preparation. If you have any doubts as to whether your bat is ready to play, let a member of our staff advise you.