Category: CRICKET

How to prepare your cricket bat

At Sportsmart, we offer bat preparation for you:

New natural-faced cricket bats need to be oiled and knocked in before play. The deluxe cricket bat preparation will eliminate hours of manual preparation. Please allow 4-5 business days for this service to be completed.*

If you prefer to do your own bat prep, follow the steps below:

Cricket bats are made primarily from two different types of wood. English Willow or Kashmir Willow. Both are very soft types of wood, and require preparation before they can be used to hit a cricket ball.83154_500

There are four stages involved in preparing your cricket bat:

1. Pressing, 2. Oiling, 3. Knocking In, 4. Playing In.

Stage 1: Pressing

Pressing the bat is important for two reasons. 1) It strengthens the fibers in the bat, and 2) Saves hours off the knocking in process. Some brands already do this stage for you, i.e. Kookaburra (KPP), but it doesn’t hurt to do a little bit more yourself.

Most bat prepping is done using a machine. Or using a mallet to knock it in, however this takes twice as long.

Stage 2: Oiling

Oiling helps reduce the chance that your cricket bat will crack or split. Oiling your bat helps to maintain moisture levels within the bat.

How:

  • Using Linseed Oil, apply a light coat to the face, edge, toe and back of the blade – avoid the stickers and splice area. Allow to dry for 24 hours. Then, using a very fine sand paper (+180), give your cricket bat a light sanding. Reapply a light coat to the face.
  • 2-3 coats should be sufficient. Allow each coat to dry fully (it’s best to dry your cricket bat in a slightly elevated horizontal position).

Stage 3: Knocking In

Knocking-in is probably the most vital stage in the preparation process. This process compresses the fibers in the wood, protecting the bat against ball impact. If done correctly, this can increase a cricket bat’s performance and lifespan.

How:

  • Using a special bat mallet or an old quality cricket ball, carefully and repeatedly strike the bat (increasing the force gradually) in any area where one may hit the ball. The edges and toe should not be struck directly at right-angles to the blade as this can cause damage.
  • This stage should take a minimum of 6 hours (every bat varies).
  • Finally, using an old quality cricket ball, hit some short catches. If the seam, on the ball, leaves a mark, go back and continue knocking in. Allow at least another hour for this stage.

Stage 4: Playing In

This stage is important to determine if you have knocked-in the bat well enough.

How:

  • At this stage, the cricket bat can be used in nets with a soft ball. If the ball contact leaves a mark on the bat, go back and repeat the knocking in process for another hour until no marks are left on the bat.

*Our services should not be considered as full preparation – you still need to work your bat in against an old ball prior to use against new hard balls.

Shop our range of Cricket bats in store and online here.

PREPARING YOUR CRICKET BAT FOR THE SEASON

Oiling and knocking in your new, natural-faced cricket bat!

Is your bat ready to face the upcoming cricket season?

Kookaburra Kahuna Pro

OILING YOUR BAT

All bats that have a natural face (uncovered) need to be oiled with cricket bat oil throughout their life to maintain moisture levels in the willow fibres. This will reduce the chance of cracking or splitting during use. The correct type of oil to use on your bat is natural linseed oil (sold in-store and online).

How to apply oil to new bats

The best way to apply oil to a cricket bat is by using a paintbrush. Lightly coat the face of the bat, edges and toe of the blade. Take care to avoid the stickers, logos and the splice area. Generally 3 to 4 light coats should be sufficient initially, and then apply one coat every 3 to 4 weeks thereafter. Allow each coat to dry, placing the bat in a horizontal position, before the next coat is applied.

REMEMBER: use light coats only – you risk more damage to the cricket bat by over-oiling rather than under-oiling.

KNOCKING IN

‘Knocking in’ your new cricket bat is VITAL for its survival. This is the process by which the fibres of the willow in the face and edges are compressed together to form a barrier, which protects the bat against the impact of the ball. Effective ‘knocking in’ will improve the performance & lifespan of the bat. We also recommend that factory pre-prepared bats need extra preparation by further knocking in using a mallet.

How to ‘knock in’ your bat

Step 1: Using a special bat mallet, strike the bat repeatedly across and down the front of the blade. You should gradually apply more force over time. This conditioning must be performed with patience. Particular attention should be given to hardening the edges to minimise damage from an edge shot. This can be done by deflecting the mallet across the edges, not at right-angles. We also recommend ‘boning’ the edges, which involves running the handle of the mallet down the edges to compress them. The bat’s toe area should be struck carefully as there is risk of causing cracks or splits across the base of the bat if it is struck too hard. This step takes between 8 to 10 hours to complete.

Step 2: To ready your bat for match use, you should use your bat against throw downs in the nets or by giving short catches. Make sure the ball you are facing is a quality old ball. This should be done for at least 2 hours. If seam marks, small surface cracks or indentations are visible, immediately go back to Step 1 for further preparation for at least 2 more hours. This is not sign of a faulty bat – it simply means that the bat requires further attention.

If you are using your new bat with a new ball, you should purchase extratec or a bat care pack for added protection (sold in-store and online).

If you have any questions, please visit us in-store.

WHICH CRICKET SHOES ARE RIGHT FOR YOU?

It’s time to gear up for the cricket season!

With many shoes for the three main disciplines of cricket, buying the right cricket shoe can be difficult. But our cricket shoe guru, Sportsmart’s Footwear Manager, Ryan, is here to help.

Q. What makes a good cricket shoe?

There are many basic aspects of a cricket shoe that will affect the way you play and which shoe is the correct fit for you.

The Upper

The upper is the top of the shoe that wraps around your foot. It is in close contact with your foot, so it has to be comfortable. The upper is designed to support the key areas and can also provide ventilation.

Bowlers: Need an upper that, when planting their foot, doesn’t allow the foot to budge or irritate the big toe as it hits the pitch. Generally have a high cut upper.

Batsmen: Need an upper that allows movement, but also protects feet. The upper is generally less rigid, providing greater flexibility to allow greater ease of movement. Many feature a mesh upper which helps to reduce weight.

The Outsole

The outsole is the layer that is in direct contact with the ground. The playing surface will affect the type of shoe needed. Generally, when playing on a synthetic surface, the outsole will be made up of a rubber dimple design. This allows for maximum traction on artificial surfaces. When playing on turf, all cricketers are required to wear spikes for increased grip. Both bowlers and batsmen need grip, but for different reasons.

Bowlers: Regardless of the surface, bowlers require maximum traction for running in as well as landing at the wicket. Bowling boots tend to have very flat outsoles with more spikes for grip.

Batsmen: Need to grip the pitch when they’re running. Batsmen shoes usually have a half spike to provide the right amount of traction for both running and playing their shots.

The Midsole

The midsole is the layer between the outsole and the insole, and is designed for shock absorption and comfort.

Bowlers: Need cushioning as they run into bowl, so a shoe with a good midsole is preferable. Cushioning is more important in a bowlers shoe.

Batsmen: Need a lot of cushioning to make their innings as comfortable as possible.

The sock liner

Cricket shoe sock liners often feature extra cushioning for improved comfort. Most cricket shoes will also feature additional heel supports to maximise support to the foot under a range of actions.

Q. How do I know which cricket shoe is right for me?

Firstly, it depends on the playing surface. All cricketers playing on turf will require spiked cricket shoes, while those playing on synthetic will usually require a rubber outsole. Other considerations include personal preferences, your position and budget. Visit us in store for more advice!

Q. Which cricket shoe brands does Sportsmart stock?

Sportsmart sells a range of senior and junior cricket shoes from brands including Asics, New Balance and Kookaburra.

Q. What is the main difference between a high-priced and low-priced cricket shoes?

The main difference is comfort and cushioningHigher priced cricket shoes tend to have more support, comfort and cushioning and tend to last longer. Lower priced cricket shoes have less of these attributes and tend to not last as long.

Q. What are the most popular batsman cricket shoes?

Q. What are the most popular bowler cricket shoes?

Q. What are the most popular all-rounder cricket shoes?

Q. What are the most popular kids cricket shoes?

Q. What are your top cricket shoe picks this season?

ASICS GEL ODI

ASICS GEL STRIKE RATE 4

A70_542804_500

NEW BALANCE CK4030R2

A70_543560_500

ASICS GEL HARDWICKET 5 GS

A72_542806_500

NEW BALANCE KC4020DY

A72_543564_500

ASICS GEL PEAK 4

A70_542815_500

NEW BALANCE CK4020R2

A70_543562_500

ASICS GEL 100 NOT OUT GS

KOOKABURRA PRO 1200 RUBBER JUNIOR 

Visit us in store for more advice and to browse our range of cricket shoes.

Remember, Smart Card members save more – sign up online or in store.

All the best for your cricket season!

GRAY-NICOLLS NEW RANGE – IN STORE AND ONLINE!

Bat & Ball Category Manager, Tom Kilpatrick

It’s Ashes time, and time to get back into training and preparing for the upcoming cricket season.

Sportsmart has Gray-Nicolls’ new range of cricket gear in store and online, including the hand-crafted Grade 1 English willow bats at our Moorabbin store.
David Warner’s players bat is coming soon, but limited stock will be available! Keep an eye out in store and online.
My personal favourite cricket bat in terms of value for money is the Gray-Nicolls Elite Short Handle $479.99 ($431.99 Smart Card members). It features hand-crafted grade 1 English willow with a touch of red wood – I always like a little bit of red wood on my inside edge.
Gray-Nicolls Elite SH cricket bat

Gray-Nicolls Elite SH cricket bat

We also have the Gray-Nicolls Silver Cricket Bat and Gray-Nicolls Ultimate Cricket Bat cricket bats available, which are a better class of premium willow to the Elite, and a fuller profile as well.
Remember: Smart Card members save 10% off all new season Gray-Nicolls cricket equipment!

NEW KOOKABURRA CRICKET RANGE, IN STORE NOW

Bat Sports Category Manager, Tom Kilpatrick

Good news for cricket fans: Kookaburra’s new range is now in store at our Moorabbin store. (Also available to order online – phone our online team on 03 9091 5024).

Onyx and Plasma join Kahuna and Bubble as part of Kookaburra’s exciting new range.

Onyx is used by the big-hitting Glenn Maxwell. It has a massive profile with the new ridges down the back providing a great shape.

Kookaburra Onyx Players Cricket Bat 2015/2016

Kookaburra Onyx Players Cricket Bat 2015/2016

Plasma Pro 1000 is a great value cricket bat at $299.99 ($269.99 Smart Card members); great for the conventional player. It’s lightweight, which is ideal for developing cricketers and square of the wicket player.

Kookaburra Plasma 1000 2015/2016

Kookaburra Plasma 1000 2015/2016

All bats have been personally hand-selected by myself, to ensure we have the best product for you to choose from.

Remember: Smart Card members save 10% on all new season cricket equipment.

Need help preparing your cricket bat? We offer a range of services:
Oil & Extratec $20
Press & Oil $30
Deluxe Bat Prep $40

I’m personally really excited about the season ahead. If you have any questions about any of our cricket products, email me at tomk@sportsmart.com.au or visit our Moorabbin store. Hope to see you in store soon.

SPORTSMART CHRISTMAS CATALOGUE OUT NOW!

Shop smarter this Christmas at Sportsmart! Our latest catalogue is packed full of huge savings and gift ideas for the whole family. Our catalogue is available in store or you can view it online here.

Check out some of our hot specials below plus heaps more in store and online. Sale runs until 24th December.

Asics Gel Pulse 5 running shoes was $149 now $89 save $60

Men's Asics Gel Pulse 5

Men’s Asics Gel Pulse 5

Women's Asics Gel Pulse 5

Women’s Asics Gel Pulse 5

Selected mens and womens tees and singlets just $19.99 ea

More in store!

More in store!

Spalding NBA Acrylic 42” basketball system was $399 now $289 save $110

Receive a bonus NBA conference basketball value $49.99 (in store only)

Receive a bonus NBA conference basketball value $49.99 (in store only)

Paceman bowling machine $299

paceman

Head Youtek Supreme tennis racquet normal $249 members $99

head youtek

Horizon Evolve Plus treadmill was $1099 now $499 save $600

Folds flat for easy storage

Folds flat for easy storage

For more specials, you can check out our full Christmas catalogue online by clicking here or the image below.

Click to check out our full Christmas catalogue online

Click to check out our full Christmas catalogue online

Some items are not available at all stores, but can be ordered on request.

Sale ends 24/12/13.

CELEBRATING 44 YEARS OF SPORTSMART!

To celebrate 44 years of Sportsmart servicing Melbourne’s sporting needs, you can save up to 44% on selected sporting goods! We have a huge list of specials across all of our major categories available in store and online.

Check out some of our specials below:

– Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13 mens and womens running shoes was $219 now $122 save 44%

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13 mens

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13 mens

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13 womens

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13 womens

– 44% off all full price Under Armour (image for illustration purposes only)

Under Armour

– 44% off all Ali boxing products

Ali boxing gloves

Ali boxing gloves

– Head TI S2 tennis racquet was $199 now $111.44 save 44%

Head Ti S2 tennis racquet

Head Ti S2 tennis racquet

– Nike Tiempo Technique soccer ball was $24.99 now $14 save 44%

Nike Tiempo Technique soccer ball

Nike Tiempo Technique soccer ball

For our full list of specials, click here.

Be quick! Sale ends 20th Oct 2013.