Tag Archive for: cricket

SISGrass invests in Indian cricket

SISGrass invests in Indian cricket: Hybrid cricket pitches have been installed at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) Stadium in Dharamshala, the first in what is expected to be a series of major projects across India in 2024 and beyond.

Completed by international sports pitches specialist SISGrass in partnership with Indian fine turf specialist company Greater Ten, the work represents the start of a drive towards improved playing surface quality and consistency at both amateur and professional levels, opening the nation’s most popular sport up to millions more people.

SISGrass invests in Indian cricket

SISGrass invests in Indian cricket

SISGrass’s investment in India follows a decision by the International Cricket Council to permit the use of hybrid surfaces for T20 and 50-over competition. After widespread success installing hybrids across English cricket grounds, the SIS team chose India as its next region of development. Paul Taylor, a former England international and SIS’s International Cricket Director, says the decision made sense for several reasons.

“India is home to millions of cricket fans, players and professionals who play almost all year round,” says Taylor. “This huge demand puts pressure on facilities, which can make it difficult for people to access good quality pitches in their local area. Our hybrid system will create far more opportunities for people to participate in the sport, guaranteeing a higher-quality of play at every level of competition.”

The Universal machine used in Dharamshala to install the hybrid surface was first developed by SISGrass in 2017. It injects a small percentage of polymer fibre with the natural turf found inside cricket stadiums. This composition is more resilient to stresses created during play, helping to prolong the life of pitches, guarantee an even bounce and ease pressure on busy groundspeople. Completed installations are predominantly natural grass, with only 5% of polymer fibre used. This ensures the characteristics of an all-natural pitch are maintained.

Speaking about the installation, Mr. R.P. Singh, Hony. President, HPCA, said, “The HPCA has consistently embraced the latest advances in cricket, and we believe SISGrass’s technology will be game-changing.

“Maintaining top-notch practice pitches is crucial for player development, as traditional surfaces struggle under the demands of rigorous training schedules. SISGrass’s integration of natural grass with synthetic fibres creates a robust and durable playing surface, ensuring players are prepared for competitive play. We are confident the installation will pave the way for a brighter future for Indian cricket, not just in Himachal Pradesh but across the nation.”

Hybrids have already been sanctioned by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for T20 and 50-over competitions, and in 2024 they will be used in four-day County Championship matches for the first time. The Universal machine in India will now travel to Ahmedabad and Mumbai, where it will stitch more pitches for practice and match play.

The first machine of its kind, the Universal has already proven effective in the UK, having been used to install SISGrass at almost every major county ground in England. These include Lord’s, The Kia Oval, Edgbaston, Emirates Old Trafford, Trent Bridge, among many others. The machine will remain in India after the first three installations are complete, making it immediately available to other grounds and facilities as projects are approved.

Richard Gould, CEO of ECB, added: “Hybrid pitches have played an important role in enabling some venues to manage an increased amount of cricket during the English summer as the fixture list across men’s and women’s international and domestic cricket has grown.”

The introduction of hybrid pitches represents an important moment for India’s national game, which has championed T20 cricket through the IPL. These shorter formats have been one of the main drivers behind the development of hybrid surfaces, with more intense periods of play making it harder to prepare all-natural surfaces in time for top-level competition.

“Cricket is often associated with tradition but the installation of SISGrass in India is a milestone of progress,” adds Taylor. “Our hybrid pitches will allow for longer periods of play than is possible with all-natural surfaces, helping to maintain a base level of performance for millions of players across the country. But the technology will also potentially transform grassroots-level cricket, giving juniors the chance to play on the same surfaces found in major stadiums. Our expansion in India is an investment in the future of the game at all levels.”

HPCA has already installed SISAir – another specialist technology business that forms part of the wider SIS Pitches portfolio. SISAir is a sports pitch aeration system that optimises root zone growing conditions, creating stronger and more durable grass. During heavy rainfall, SISAir will also remove excess surface water using a series of pipework installed underneath a playing surface. The technology is used widely across major stadia, including Galatasaray’s Rams Park.

For more information on SISGrass, visit: https://www.sispitches.com/sports-pitches/hybrid/installation/cricket

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total-play’s ‘game-changing’ new Cricket Shield system

total-play’s ‘game-changing’ new Cricket Shield system: More cricket clubs and schools could reap the benefit of year-round, all-weather coaching thanks to an exciting new innovation from the cricket pitch experts at total-play Ltd.

One of the first non-turf cricket pitch suppliers to win England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) code of practice status, total-play has developed no less than six ECB approved non-turf pitch system designs over the years; installing artificial match pitches and state of the art training facilities at hundreds of sites nationwide.

total-play’s ‘game-changing’ new Cricket Shield system

total-play’s ‘game-changing’ new Cricket Shield system

The new ‘Cricket Shield’ system has again been developed in partnership with the ECB; effectively providing a ‘cricket dome’ that can be erected over new or existing cricket practice net facilities to effectively create an indoor practice facility at a fraction of the cost. The first installation of this exciting new system launched on Friday, 20th October at Bradford Park Avenue cricket ground as part of a pioneering £1.5m community inclusion project funded by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in partnership with City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council.

The new, ten-lane facility features two 40mx20m covered domes with a state-of-the-art lighting system, elite cricket surface and a retractable netting system allowing for both training and matchplay. MD at total-play, David Bates says:

“I have been in discussion with the ECB for three years about ways to boost participation, particularly in urban centres. Indoor cricket facilities are prohibitively expensive – anything upwards of £5 million pounds – so the idea of converting outdoor nets to be suitable for all-weather use was an attractive one. Bradford Park Avenue was the perfect pilot site for the new system – the existing nets we installed 7 years ago were seeing huge use from across the community.

“The new facility will be a real game-changer and will increase capacity by offering a weather-proof centre for nets at all times of the year. It’s been amazing to work on this project alongside the other stakeholders and see vision become reality. We hope all the teams and groups who use the Bradford Park Avenue nets thoroughly enjoy their new facility, and look forward to rolling out Cricket Shield to other sites and help other clubs and schools reap the benefits.”

While the Bradford Park Avenue development is on a huge scale, Cricket Shield is scalable; with bespoke systems designed to meet individual clients’ needs and can be installed alongside as part of the development of completely new facilities of retro-fitted to existing natural or artificial surfaces. David says:

“With the inaugural installation now under our belts we look forward to seeing the Bradford Park Avenue system start to be used by the community and to starting work on more Cricket Shield projects in 2024, alongside some great straight practice facility and match pitch installations that are already in the pipeline. It looks set to be another busy year!”

For more details, head to www.total-play.co.uk or email info@total-play.co.uk

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Cricket club raises £10k after pitch vandalism

Cricket club raises £10k after pitch vandalism: A village cricket club whose pitch was destroyed by vandals who poured weedkiller over it has raised £10,000 to cover the cost of repairs.

Read the full article from ITV here

Cricket club raises £10k after pitch vandalism

Cricket club raises £10k after pitch vandalism

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Cricket club wins Toro Greensmaster 800

Cricket club wins Toro Greensmaster 800: Westgate-on-Sea Cricket Club is the lucky winner of a Toro Greensmaster 800 pedestrian mower after entering distributor Reesink Turfcare’s competition at SALTEX. 

Raif Kelly, who has been at the club for 35 years having worn many hats along the way from president to secretary to community manager and finally, as head groundsman, is “incredibly pleased” with the result from the prize draw and can’t wait to put the Greensmaster 800 to work.

Cricket club wins Toro Greensmaster 800

Cricket club wins Toro Greensmaster 800

Overseeing three groundskeeping teams that work diligently on the square every weekend, Raif explains: “The Greensmaster 800 will come very in handy to cut the cricket strips to the standards to which we have accustomed our members. This is our first Toro machine so we’re very excited to try it and see what it can do.

“We make sure the square is always in good condition. A lot of work goes into it over the year, starting in May and finishing in September, at which point we put it to bed during the winter. There’s only two months in the whole year where we don’t do any work so the Toro mower will be put to a lot of good use!”

The Greensmaster 800 is built upon Toro’s legendary reputation of the Greensmaster 1000, with a cutting width range of 18 inches, heavy-duty 4.3hp Subaru Industrial engine, narrow mowing swath for narrow striping and a standard 14-blade cylinder. This walk-behind mower excels on the cricket square, providing a superior precision of cut and straight-line tracking for the perfect finish.

Raif continues: “We welcome this new greensmower and the technology it brings, it’s a great opportunity to try new things and new techniques and see where that takes us.”

Reesink’s South East branch will be delivering the machine to the club and branch manager Jon Cole says of the win: “Congratulations to the team at Westgate-On-Sea Cricket Club. We hope the Toro Greensmaster will help maintain your pitch to the highest level for this season and many more to come.”

To talk to someone about Toro technology and how the Toro range would suit your course, call 01480 226800.

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Are County cricket pitches soft targets?

Are County cricket pitches soft targets?: It is no surprise that the standard of County Championship pitches has once again been thrust into the spotlight following England’s capitulation in Australia.

Read the full article from Cricbuzz here

Are County cricket pitches soft targets?

Are County cricket pitches soft targets?

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Moped vandals tear up cricket pitch

Moped vandals tear up cricket pitch: A cricket club has been hit for six after moped-riding vandals caused damage to their pitch.

Read the full article from Gazette News here

Moped vandals tear up cricket pitch

Moped vandals tear up cricket pitch

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Paul Cricket Club’s long serving groundsman

Paul Cricket Club’s long serving groundsman: Unsung hero, Steve Snell, has kept Paul Cricket Club’s pitch in top condition for nearly 60 years and has no plans of stopping any time soon.

Read the full article from The Falmouth Packet here

Paul Cricket Club's long serving groundsman

Paul Cricket Club’s long serving groundsman

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Living every cricket lover’s dream

Living every cricket lover’s dream: Just like the players, Karl McDermott would now be entering the final stage of his preparations for the English cricket season.

As head groundsman at Lord’s, he would have an eye on April 12, when Middlesex were due to open their campaign against Worcestershire.

Living every cricket lover’s dream

Living every cricket lover’s dream

Instead, he is “living every cricket lover’s dream” — he is in the middle of a Lord’s lockdown.

But for a few security guards and construction workers rebuilding the Compton and Edrich Stands, and the couple of other on-site residents, including his five-month-old daughter, he has the run of the Home of Cricket.

Not that it makes his working life easier. Normally, he would head up a team of eight groundstaff. As they all take public transport to work, they have been told to stay away for the time being.

Between them, they would take two hours to mow the pristine outfield. On his own, it takes McDermott two days.

“It’s like the good old days of club groundsmanship, trying to survive on your own,” he said. “It’s working out what you can do.

“Generally, I get up and give the square a roll early, about 7.30am, which takes two-and-a-half hours, then I tick off the longer jobs during the day.

“In one sense it’s nice not having cricket, you don’t have to put the covers on and things like that.”

That is not the only positive, of course.

“It is quite liberating,” he said. “I’m not getting many phone calls or emails, I don’t have to go to any meetings. It’s me managing my day and watching the world go by.

“The nice weather is making my days go a lot quicker and is enjoyable. It’s not your typical wet and windy pre-season — that would be miserable on my own.

“The fact I have somewhere to walk around is great. We have just had a baby, so we don’t have to go out to take her for a little stroll, so that’s quite nice as well. It’s probably every cricket lover’s dream to be locked inside Lord’s!”

McDermott has spoken to groundsmen across the grassroots game worried about the impact the current situation will have on both their pitches and their clubs, with uncertainty over when the game will return at any level.

Professional cricket is currently not scheduled to be played until June at the earliest. McDermott is still preparing as if England’s Test match against the West Indies on June 25 will go ahead.

“It’s the same uncertainty that everyone feels right now, we are in limbo, when we can get the guys back in safely, or how much notice we will get that cricket is back.

“It’s a case of trying to stay ahead, so there’s as little catch-up as possible when we are all guns blazing. No matter when, we will be ready.”

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Cricket club counting cost of Ciara

Cricket club counting cost of Ciara: Bridgeholme Cricket Club is counting the cost of being flooded again, but this time it is worse than ever, according to groundsman Keith Hudson.

The club’s Eastwood ground has been flooded several times in recent years, but it has been left in a horrendous state by Storm Ciara over the weekend.

Cricket club counting cost of Ciara

Cricket club counting cost of Ciara

Keith said: “It’s the biggest flood in the club’s history.

“The walls have gone, there’s sand, silt and sludge everywhere, rubbish all over the field, bricks and boulders.

“It’s seriously bad. The hardest thing is what do we do now? How do we put this back together again?

“We’re reputed as one of the most beautiful cricket grounds in Yorkshire, we’ve won awards for how beautiful it is. There’s not many cricket clubs that win a Yorkshire in Bloom award.

“It was bad in 2015, but we put in place all these things to prevent it, like a river wall.

“But this has just flattened it. The wall’s still intact but it’s completely flattened it.

“It’s unbelievable. I live right next to the ground so I could see it happening thinking ‘that’s going to go’ and ‘that’s going to go’.

“I’ve been groundsman for 35 years, and I’ve lived here since 1963, and I’ve never seen anything like it.

“The back of our street was awash with mud and the retaining wall at the bottom of the street was completely flattened.

“Pictures don’t do it justice.

Keith says the club, on Halifax Road in Todmorden, is used by all sorts of people in the community for dog walking, playing sports and children riding bicycles.

“Last time (in 2015) I was there every day for two months. There’s no easy way out of it,” Keith added.

“God knows how much it’s going to cost. Last time it cost £20,000 but you could maybe multiply that by five this time.

“We’ve been told we’ll get some funding from Sport England, the ECB and the YCB but I don’t think there’s enough money out there.

“It’s a mess.”

If you would like to donate to the club’s fundraising appeal, visit https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/sharon-mitchell-5?utm_term=4y3jv6XGV.

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Cricket groundsman to stand down

Cricket groundsman to stand down: He has become one of the recognisable figures in north-east cricket over the last 20 years.

But now, Kenny McCurdie, the head groundsman at Aberdeenshire CC, has confirmed he is stepping down from the role at the end of March.

Cricket groundsman to stand down

Regarded as one of the country’s best pitch preparers, McCurdie has won a string of national awards  – he was groundsman of the year seven times in 11 seasons from 2000 to 2011 – and worked with Cricket Scotland in getting Mannofield ready for high-profile international matches against the likes of England and New Zealand.

Just last summer, he was responsible for the venue which staged the inaugural World Cricket League matches between the Scots, Oman and Papua New Guinea, all of which were played despite the poor weather which ravaged the domestic season.

He also toiled tirelessly with his Shire colleagues to repair the damage after the ground fell victim to vandals in 2011.

McCurdie told the Press and Journal: “There have been many highlights during my tenure, but the job is all about flexibility and the fact you need to learn to be able to work with Nature, not against it.

“It is especially gratifying, having had a poor week of weather, still being able to unveil a quality pitch on a Saturday and although, as a groundsman, you’ll not be able to please all the people all the time, I’ll be glad to shed my thick skin when I hang up my boots.”

Not even having his arm in a sling in 2014 – after he tore a muscle – could prevent him from carrying out his duties before and after the Scotland v England contest.

McCurdie has confirmed he will be leaving Mannofield at the start of the new season for decidedly warmer climes in Gran Canaria.

But he is justly proud of producing constantly good pitches at the game’s most northerly ODI venue which for many years boasted the world’s highest one-day score – when New Zealand scored 402 for 2 against Ireland in 2008.

Former Scotland bowler, Paul Hoffmann, said he had learned a huge amount from talking to McCurdie down the years, before himself becoming a groundsman.

He added: “He gave me so many tips and I always thought he had the best job in the world, doing something he loves and living at the ground.

“He knows so much about the science, but, most of all, he is brilliant groundsman and a wonderful, kind gentleman.”

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