What to do about Cricket Bat Cracking ?
This is a guide for those seeking advice about cricket bat cracking.
How serious is the Crack ? Is my bat defective ?
To prevent cricket bat cracking you should always properly prepare your bat. This may include knocking in, oiling, waxing, applying anti-scuff sheets and much more.
However if you are reading this, it is unlikely you are searching for advice on how to prevent damage. Moreover you will be wanting to know how to REPAIR damage and all the advice on knocking-in and oiling will not help you at this point.
To see examples of normal wear and tear please look below.
If your bat has a crack similar to the pictures above then you should not be concerned. The cricket bat cracking above would not make your bat defective.
These are normal and should be accepted as part of normal wear and tear. Whilst we don't want to patronise our readers, sometimes in the frustration of finding damage on a new cricket bat they can lose sight of the seriousness of the damage in the context of the sport. Bearing in mind that these bats are pieces of willow, they will crack unlike conventional materials for sports goods. Cricket bat cracking is part of a cricket bat's life.
The balls used in cricket travel faster than nearly all other balls used in ball sports. Taking this into account and the hardness of a cricket ball, together with the material making contact with the ball it is surprising that these bats can last several seasons let alone a whole game. All it takes is one badly timed or aimed hit and damage can occur, but all cricketers are only human so this is not an unusual occurrence.
The best solution
The best way to rectify cricket bat cracking of the likes incurred above is with some handy work.
We recommend PVA adhesive and bat tape. You can use any standard wood adhesive that you would find in a home or hardware store; try and get the strongest one possible. First of all insert glue within the crack. When it is dried you can apply the bat tape, this should be standard bat tape enhanced with fibre glass.
Don't go too heavy on the bat tape, you don't want your cricket bat looking like a hospital cast. Apply enough to ensure rigidity and strength where the crack was but don't overdo it; the last thing you want is a very uneven surface on your bat. Common sense is the most useful asset here. When you have applied both the bat tape and glue, the bat should be ready to go, if you wish you may feel like applying an anti-scruff sheet, if you didn't have one already.
What must be remembered is that this kind of cricket bat cracking will increasing appear the longer you use your bat. Unfortunately once a crack has been incurred it can never be truly repaired, and over time despite PVA glue and bat tape, the crack will slowly emerge as a problem. However with proper care and maintenance a frequent cricketer should be able to play as normal without any impact on their game until the end of the season.
If you do encounter anything more serious, you contact your retailer and/or manufacturer as cricket bat defects, although rare, do occur and may entitle you to a replacement. For an example please look below
If your bat cracking looks like this, then you are within reason to suggest that this is a cricket bat defect. What must be remembered however is that if damage is not as considerable as deep splits within the core of the wood, manufacturers will not entertain any suggestion of a replacement and you may waste valuable time without your cricket bat during the season as it can take several weeks to inspect a cricket bat.