This is a very tricky question and one without a straightforward answer. There is no standard amount of time or use that determines when it is time to buy a new cricket bat. A bat can last many years. Some say it will last roughly 1000-1500 runs. Others prefer to measure it as three or four seasons, but it all depends on how much you use it and how well you maintain it.
Some people just love new bats. They want the newest model, every season and if that’s you, fantastic! The decision is easy – buy a new bat.
However, some people have an old favourite that they love. They are accustomed to the weight and the feel, and it works well for them, so they want to keep using it as long as possible. The good news is, if you take good care of this bat, you will extend its life and won’t need to buy a new one for many years. But, due to normal wear and tear on a bat and the occasional mishap requiring repairs, it will sometime cost money to keep your favourite performing well. This is where you need to weigh up a few things before making your decision.
So, what should you consider when making your decision?
BUYING A NEW BAT
New bats are AMAZING! You can have a new bat customised to specifically to suit you and your playing style. You can customise everything from the grade of the willow, the bat length, blade length, middle and edge position, handle shape, length and thickness, toe shape, colours and custom stickers. You could walk out for your first hit in the nets, and it feels like an extension of you! It was worth every cent!
New cricket bats require a big financial outlay. And the more customisations, the more it will cost. And there is no guarantee it will work for you. First, you will have to spend hours knocking it in and then it will take some time before it is as its best.
Consider, is this bat going to be as good as my old bat? The reality is, it’s going to be different. It will certainly feel different in your hands, and it will take time to get to its very best.
FIXING THE OLD BAT
Old favourites just feel right, and they rarely let us down. Cricket bats require care and attention to keep them performing, but the good news is, cricket bats are very repairable. You can replace the handle, repair a damaged toe, have a complete clean up and re-oil. Your old bat will look like new! And, you won’t have to knock it in like a new bat or adjust to a different feel. You can walk out to play and it’s ready to go, just like it has always been!
The cost of repairs can add up. You might wonder, “Why spend a few hundred dollars on these repairs when, for a bit more, I can buy a new bat?”. While annual maintenance and taking care of your bat can reduce the need for repairs and extend the life of your bat, there will come a time when it can no longer be repaired, and the decision will be made for you.
So, if you love the idea of having a shiny new bat and are prepared to put in the time and work to get it to its peak performance then choose carefully and enjoy the experience! But if you have a bat that has been working well for you and just needs a few repairs, then why not show it some love and get an extra season or two out of your old favourite.