After getting your hands on a new bat there is a huge temptation to put it straight into action.
Patience is required. To make sure your bat has a long life, you shouldn't use it competitively for at least two weeks after buying it.
In that time you need to oil it and 'knock it in'.
But don't just grab any old can out of the garage - raw linseed oil is what you need.
Only about a teaspoonful is needed to give the face of the bat a coating. Be careful, as it can be more harmful to over-oil than not to bother.
Allow the oil plenty of time to soak in and leave the bat in a horizontal position.
'Knocking in' helps the fibres of the wood to compress and produce a stronger barrier.
This is done using either a special bat mallet or using an old cricket ball, knocking against the bat face and rounding off the edges.
After this you can start to hit a few short catches with an old ball and after about an hour of this the bat should be ready to use.