Bat Care

Your English willow cricket bat has been handmade in our factory, at Thornhill, in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. Over the past twenty years we have enjoyed making quality bats for several South African batsmen as well as for a number of top order batsmen playing in other countries around the world. A great deal of care has been taken to produce this bat and we ask you to treat it in a similar fashion to ensure a long and productive life. 


Before use, two coats of raw linseed oil should be rubbed into the blade of the bat to cover all the bare wood areas but avoiding the splice and handle. This is best done over two nights. The bat should then be carefully knocked in with an old leather ball or B & S bat mallet. Oiled correctly, the wood fibres should be supple and the face and edges will dent rather than crack during the knocking in process. 

Maintenance during use

Heat and dry conditions are harmful to cricket bats as the willow must not be allowed to dry out completely. The blade of the bat should be periodically cleaned with fine sandpaper and then a thin coat of oil should be applied to keep the surface pliable and prevent the bat from drying out. Ensure, however that the bat is not over-oiled. As a rough guide, not more than three coats should be applied per year. 


Our cricket bats are handcrafted from the finest English willow, which is a natural material, and as a result, during normal usage, they are likely to incur superficial face and edge damage. This does not detract from the overall performance of the bat.   However, should more serious damage occur due to a miss-timed shot or the 'digging out of a Yorker', the damage can be professionally repaired, without affecting performance. At Bellingham & Smith we pride ourselves on the service we give our customers, customers whom we aim to keep for life. It is vital that an expert repairs a damaged bat immediately, as continued use in a damaged state could render the bat irrepairable.

Care must be taken to avoid the following:

1.       The toe of the bat must not be allowed to absorb dampness and become swollen. Use of light smear of linseed oil periodically, just on the toe, will prevent this from happening.

2.       Standing the bat in linseed oil.

3.       Usage against hard or poor quality cricket balls prior to knocking in.

4.       Hard bowling machine balls.


Batmaker's Note

The materials used in this bat have been carefully selected and sourced from the finest available. It is a fact that your bat is the end result of some 20 years of cultivation, care and craftsmanship. The application of similar care will ensure considerable joy in the use of your bat. 

Why English willow?

Of all the many varieties of wood available, the willow tree alone has the unique blend of properties that are required in a durable, high performance cricket bat. It is a light wood with a long straight grain that is easy to work. Its light weight makes it easy to handle yet strong enough for power hitting. It's resilience and flexibility give it the unique feel and sweet spot that batsmen love. The surface of the wood can be rolled and hardened (by knocking in) to produce varying degrees of resilience and durability, according to the needs of the batsman. 

 Source of English willow


We use only English willow for its proven inherent quality.

We obtain our willow clefts from the largest producers of English willow cricket bat blades in the world.

JS Wright & Sons Ltd.,
Coles Farm Works,
Boreham Road,Great Leighs

Tel: +44 (1245) 361-639
Fax: +44 (1245) 361-882
Web :

Their web site contains interesting information about the cultivation and preparation of the willow wood. 

Willow clefts


Pre-shaped slabs of willow, called clefts, are shipped in this form from JS Wright. The ends are sealed with wax to prevent drying and splitting. This is the raw material from which bats are made.