Caring for your cricket equipment

The game of cricket has enjoyed a surge in popularity in recent years.  Where once it was seen as primarily a “Commonwealth” sport, the game, which dates back to the 18th century, is now in vogue in a growing number of countries. 

The rise of cricket’s popularity comes at a time when other sports, like baseball, struggle to fill stadiums. 

One of the things that attracts people to cricket is the game’s low equipment demand. The only items you need to purchase are a bat and a ball.  The wicket can be homemade.  Though, there is wisdom in biting the bullet and just buying that, too. 

As with any sport, equipment maintenance will help ensure the longevity of your game implements.  Baseball players take care of gloves, ice skaters take care of skates, skeet shooters take care of shotguns, runners take care of shoes, etc. You get the idea.  Cricket equipment requires a minimal amount of upkeep to keep things in tip-top-shape.  Here are tips on how to care for the three cardinal pieces of equipment in cricket:

  • The bat

The cricket bat is different from a baseball bat in a variety of ways.  Firstly, it has a paddle shape and secondly it is ALWAYS made of wood.  The creation of a cricket bat can be a very intricate process involving great care in the type of wood used, treatment of the wood, splicing the blade to the handle, and more.

Once manufacturing of the bat is complete, the new owner should resist the temptation to immediately use it in play.  Instead, the bat should undergo a “knocking in” phase to allow the soft fibers of the bat to gradually adapt to the strike of a hard cricket ball.

Oiling is also required for cricket bats.  It stops the wood from drying out.  Most use a linseed oil available at places like Meulemans.  Others take a more unconventional approach and use the polishing oils found in Melaleuca Rustic Touch. Melaleuca reviews speak highly of its combo of three oils combined into one product.

  • The ball

A cricket ball is pretty darn hard and should remain so.  Unlike a baseball, grass stains are not the sign of good wear.  Rather, cricket balls should have as  much hand-to-hand transfer as possible.   Rolling and bouncing a cricket from the field to the bowler is considered poor form.

Before putting the ball away at the end of the day, give it a quick wipe down to ensure the seam is free from mud and that it is completely dry.

  • The wicket

The wicket, guarded by the batsman, is usually the last to get any maintenance attention. However, it is very important not to neglect caring for this necessary implement.  Care for wickets includes keeping them dry and ideally storing them in a bag that protects them from getting broken, crushed, or scraped by other items.