Junior players should take care not to play with a bat which is too big or too heavy.
Bats that are too long can not be picked up correctly. The top of the handle gets in the way and the bat is too long to run with. Bats that are too heavy force the player to alter his grip, trying to lift the bat when playing a shot, bringing the bat down across the line of the ball. All top coaches agree that choosing the correct size bat is vital for proper technical development.
Height is a rough guide to the correct size of bat. The vertical height of the player from the wrist to the ground should coincide with the height of the bat.
A player should be able to lift the bat up into their normal backlift position without discomfort.
The bat needs two separate light coats of raw linseed oil (allowing the first to dry before the second), followed by patient knocking in with an old, good quality cricket ball. The main purpose of oiling is to maintain moisture levels within the blade, and hence reduce the chances of cracking and splitting. Knock in the face with the ball through practice such as throw downs or applying the ball in a sock. Bat mallets should only be used on the face of the bat with care. Once the oil is completely dry, apply anti-scuff to the face, being careful not to cause damage to the wood when trimming (do not trim on the bat). After the first season, remove the facing across the grain (left to right), sand and oil again. This is the best route to a long lasting, optimal performing bat.
Workshop prepared bats
These bats have been prepared for use, but the blade still needs to be knocked in with an old ball through sensible practice such as throw downs. Bat mallets should only be used on the face of the bat with care. After the first season's use, please carefully remove the facing (from left to right across the grain of the bat) then gently sand the face ready for a light coat of raw linseed oil. A new sheet of anti-scuff should then be applied once the oil is completely dry ready for next season's use.