Posts

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

For the latest industry news visit turfmatters.co.uk/news

Get all of the big headlines, pictures, opinions and videos on stories that matter to you.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for fun, fresh and engaging content.

You can also find us on Facebook for more of your must-see news, features, videos and pictures from Turf Matters.

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.”

Click here to read the original article

For the latest industry news visit turfmatters.co.uk/news

Get all of the big headlines, pictures, opinions and videos on stories that matter to you.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for fun, fresh and engaging content.

You can also find us on Facebook for more of your must-see news, features, videos and pictures from Turf Matters.

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.

Click here to read the original article

For the latest industry news visit turfmatters.co.uk/news

Get all of the big headlines, pictures, opinions and videos on stories that matter to you.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for fun, fresh and engaging content.

You can also find us on Facebook for more of your must-see news, features, videos and pictures from Turf Matters.

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.”

Click here to read the original article

For the latest industry news visit turfmatters.co.uk/news

Get all of the big headlines, pictures, opinions and videos on stories that matter to you.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for fun, fresh and engaging content.

You can also find us on Facebook for more of your must-see news, features, videos and pictures from Turf Matters.

Cricket Groundcare Award Winners

Cricket Groundcare Award Winners: A fabulous presentation day, at Lord’s, was enjoyed by all the winners of the Cricket World and Turf Matters Cricket Groundcare Awards 2019.

The group gathered in the Tavern Stand for the Presentation, which was attended by Chris Wood ECB Pitch Advisor, – Karl McDermott MCC Head Groundsman at Lord’s (a previous Cricket GroundCare Award winner, whilst at Clontarf CC in Ireland), Alastair Symondson (Cricket World) and Scott MacCallum (Turf Matters).

Cricket Groundcare Award Winners

There were also representatives from the sponsors of the Awards – Richard Fry and Marcus Hewitt (Rigby Taylor), Robert Jack (Dennis and SISIS), Simon Hedley (Boughton Loam) and John Clifford (ISEKI)

The Awards had been introduced by Cricket World to recognise the dedication and hard work that groundcare individuals put into maintaining and producing cricket squares and outfields, for reactional clubs, schools and universities, in the UK and Ireland without whom there would be no cricket.

Alastair Symondson, Head of Media, Cricket World said: “We are delighted to be running these Awards again, with the support and assistance from our sponsors and partners. We also understand the dedication and hard work that goes into preparing cricket playing facilities and it is nice that we can recognize their hard work and endeavours in some small way.”

Roger Knight, former First Class cricketer and past CEO/Secretary of the MCC  sent a message of congratulations : ”These are the stalwarts of recreational cricket clubs and schools and we should thank them all – how gratifying it is to see a past winner now taking charge at the Home of Cricket as well.”

Kent  CGA – a special award was presented to the Kent Cricket Ground Association represented by  Peter Robinson, Tony Leach and Peter Aylott.

Chris Wood ECB Pitch Advisor added: “This Award is in recognition of their outstanding work as an organisation in assisting clubs, in Kent, with maintaining their cricket playing facilities”

Other Quotes

“I was delighted to see so many committed and talented groundcare volunteers and professionals, at Lord’s, and to see them recognised for the wonderful work they do to ensure that cricket is played on excellent pitches, at all levels of the recreational game”

Scott MacCallum, Editor of Turf Matters magazine.

“We are proud and excited to support these awards! Congratulations to all the hard-working nominees and winners”

Rigby Taylor on supporting the Cricket Groundcare Awards 2019.

“Congratulations to all the worthy winners but not forgetting all the other hardworking groundsman out there. Recognition well deserved! Proud supporters!”

Iseki on supporting the Cricket Groundcare Awards 2019.

“ It was a great day for all the winners to enjoy and we are very happy to support this grassroots initiative”

Boughton Loam – Cricket Groundcare Awards 2019 – Sponsors

“Dennis and SISIS are delighted to be part of these Awards. Raising the profile of the grassroots volunteer and professional groundsmen, and the fantastic work that they do to ensure the game of cricket is played, will also help to attract the next generation of groundsmen. Congratulations to all the Award winners.”

Dennis and SISIS – Cricket Groundcare Awards 2019 – Sponsors

Club and School Winners (with small nomination bio)

Pete Clark – Alcester & Ragley Park CC Pete has been volunteering his time to the club for more than 50 years as Head Groundsman and without his commitment and passion for the ground and the club, the club would not exist to this day. Pete was unable to attend through illness but was presented with his Award at his club, in Warwickshire.

Andy Harris – Buckingham Town CC Andy has been the groundsman at Buckingham Town for 10 years. In that time the pitches and the ground in general have been prepared to the highest standard. He takes great pride in his work and the quality of the ground is often commented upon by players and spectators alike. Andy was taking a well-earned break in the sun in Greece after toiling all summer at his club Buckingham Town CC

Laurie Turner – New Ifield CC – Laurie is in his late 60’s and has been involved with New Ifield CC for nearly 52 years initially as a player (slow bowler) then following retirement from actively playing in 1990 he became involved with the maintenance of the playing surface, pavilion and outbuildings as the sole incumbent. Mr Turner had been a volunteer with grounds maintenance from 1982 when New Ifield CC originally moved to the ground in Priestwood Road, Gravesend.

Graham White –  Sissinghurst CC – Graham White is a 71 year old ‘volunteer’ groundsman with Sissinghurst CC.  Mr White started with the club as a 15 year old bowler/batsman and helping out with cricket pitch preparation and maintenance. At 21 years of age Mr White took on the role of full-time groundsman and also became a committee member.  Mr White played for the club for 34 years and at the age of 55 he retired from playing and became even more involved with club life; along with a past club chairman (deceased in 2013) Mr White (and other club members) built, at that time, the new cricket pavilion.  Mr White continued as groundsman but also took on other roles such as barman. At the tender age of 71 Mr White continues as Head Groundsman and is also the ‘Club Welfare Officer’ and ‘Bar Purchasing Officer’, he has been an active member of Sissinghurst Cricket Club for 50 years.

Cliff  Clark Harlow CC –  Joined the club in the late 1970’s as a player then took over groundsmanship over twenty five or thirty years ago. During that time as well as improving the wicket, he is enlarging it, ground maintenance he also managed and help build our second cricket ground ten years ago in the adjacent Spicers Field being the other side of our club pavilion. During last winter he also helped build an equipment building and it always finding other bits to do to improve not just the playing area but also the club facilities as well.

Nick Bull North Leeds CC – Nick has tirelessly looked after the ground at North Leeds for several years now, and handles the ever-increasing workload, alongside his day job, impressively. As the volume of junior cricket increases at our club annually, he manages to make sure that wickets are prepared, marked, cut, rolled and the surrounding areas are kept tidy by his team of, mostly retired, volunteers. His efforts have led to our club being awarded the honour of hosting the final of our league’s Waddilove Cup competition for the first time in our 125 year history this season. He’s also instrumental in the creation of a new small ground we’re developing in our old nets area for Under 5, 7 & 9 cricket in memory of an Under 17 cricketer who sadly passed away last year. The Tom Coupe Oval will be our legacy for such a promising youngster who lost his life far too soon.

Martyn Crowther Bradshaw CC – Since taking on the role 4 years ago Martyn has made vast improvements to the ground, especially on the pitch. Martyn has also carried out other invisible improvements, such as replacing drains (saving the club the £1000 quoted for repairs), and aimed to help the environment by planting willow trees along one side to help drainage and improve the aesthetics. He is willing to listen to other team’s groundsmen and act upon their advice. He also puts in many hours that nobody sees, going straight to the ground after work (full time) for several hours, often skipping tea. He gets very little help from the rest of the club.

Martin Woods Wargrave CC – with 30 years of service and overseeing the relaying of the old square 6 years ago the club are now hosting minor counties matches for t20, 50 overs and 4 day games. The guy is a legend for practice wickets on the square to making sure the 70 plus games we host in a season from girls, colts, league, rep matches and sundays

Bob Carder  Stamford School – Bob and his team do an outstanding job on a very limited budget. The dedication and attention to detail Bob sets are extremely high professional standards. The cricket square and outfields are pristine and are mesmerising to look at. It’s groundsmanship taken back to basics and the basics done well.

Craig Keast  Wells Cathedral School Craig has done a truly outstanding job as Head Groundsman at Wells Cathedral School. He is in his 32 year of service and continues to produce superb cricket wickets. Our main cricket pitch, Cedars has 22 cricket strips with the middle 10, which were laid in 1995, built on a stone raft, when the council decided to drive a road through the school playing fields. We now host representative cricket on a regular basis. With views of Wells Cathedral, the pitch is widely regarded as one of the finest in the County. Craig also assisted with the design of the cricket pavilion as well, but that’s another story.

For the latest industry news visit turfmatters.co.uk/news

Get all of the big headlines, pictures, opinions and videos on stories that matter to you.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for fun, fresh and engaging content.

You can also find us on Facebook for more of your must-see news, features, videos and pictures from Turf Matters.

Cricket Club Slams Vandals

Cricket Club Slams Vandals: The chairman of a cricket club has voiced his anger after their pitch was vandalised ahead of an all-important title decider.

Players and officials at Bradenham Cricket Club were left devastated last week after groundsman Brett Gates arrived to find the outfield desecrated with tyre marks.

Cricket Club Slams Vandals

Mr Gates subsequently took to social media to call out the “mindless damage”, branding the offenders “muppets”.

And now Tim Evans, chairman of the club, has blasted those responsible for spoiling a highly-valued community asset.

“It is just so disappointing to see,” said Mr Evans. “Whoever’s done this has just mindlessly driven round the pitch and even on the square as well. You can still see the circles where they have gone round.

“We’re fortunate that the ground itself was not that wet at the time. It was a bit damp but, had it been wet, the damage would’ve been much worse.

“We’ve had a really good year and Brett and others have put in untold work on the outfield to keep it looking nice – not just for the club, but for the whole village.

“It is just so frustrating – after all the hard work that’s been put in – to see the pitch ruined by some idiots who think they are clever. They’ve achieved nothing by doing this, other than making a complete mess of something in their own village.”

As Bradenham First XI prepares for its final game of the season at home to table-toppers Great Melton on Saturday (August 31), the club feels the pitch could barely have been damaged at a worse time.

A win will see second-placed Bradenham leapfrog their rivals into top spot, handing them the Norfolk Cricket Alliance division three title.

“Having this match against Great Melton on Saturday is all the more reason to be disappointed about the damage,” added Mr Evans.

“We’ve cut the grass and been round the pitch with a roller which has flattened out the marks as best we can ready for the weekend.

“Bradenham’s promotion has not been confirmed yet as there are all sorts of other factors that come into it, but as far as we know and as far as we’ve been told, it looks 99pc sure that we’re going up.”

Click here to read the original article

For the latest industry news visit turfmatters.co.uk/news

Get all of the big headlines, pictures, opinions and videos on stories that matter to you.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for fun, fresh and engaging content.

You can also find us on Facebook for more of your must-see news, features, videos and pictures from Turf Matters.

Groundsman Reveals Cricket Challenges

Groundsman Reveals Cricket Challenges: Gary Barwell, the head groundsman at Edgbaston, has done well to stay chipper as he prepares the pitch for the second of the World Cup semi-finals on Thursday.

Unseasonal bad weather almost scuppered the venue’s first match – between New Zealand and South Africa – before Virat Kohli bizarrely complained about a short boundary after India lost there to England. Throughout it all was an ill-informed debate about covering the whole of the outfield between matches because of the rain.

Groundsman Reveals Cricket Challenges

Not for the first time, every armchair expert in world cricket had a view on the notoriously elusive art of groundsmanship.

‘The week leading up to the first game was my hardest ever,’ says the 43-year-old Barwell, who also worked on the 1999 World Cup while he was at Leicestershire’s Grace Road.

‘We couldn’t get the hover cover off because of the rain. There was 200 per cent more rainfall in a month than usual. At one point, we weren’t sure if we’d get the pitch ready. It was tough, but it was tough for Old Trafford and Headingley too.’

There will be no complaints about short boundaries on Thursday: the game will take place on pitch No 12 in a square containing 24 – though Kohli might have been better off reflecting on India’s faulty decision to play two spinners to England’s one.

But Barwell’s only loyalty is towards the quality of the surface, prepared under the hands-off guidance of the ICC’s pitch consultant Andy Atkinson.

‘You want a fair contest,’ he told the Mail on Sunday. ‘It should be flatter than for a five-day Test, but with a bit of carry for the bowlers. For New Zealand vs South Africa, it wasn’t a bad pitch, but it was a bit slow. England vs India was totally different. People said it would rag square at Edgbaston, but it didn’t.

‘One of the nice things at Edgbaston is we’ve got some good hundreds in every game. Kane Williamson was outstanding against South Africa, and Babar Azam against New Zealand. Then there was Jonny Bairstow.’

One or two conspiracy theorists maintain that groundsmen at ICC events are under order to produce a certain type of pitch – often to suit the home side. But Barwell insists there are ‘no instructions’.

He adds: ‘You want to produce the best pitch you can for the competition. England vs India was the same pitch you’d want for a bilateral series.

‘If everything goes in the right direction, including the weather, Thursday’s pitch will be a typical one-day pitch that we’ve had at Edgbaston over the past four or five years.

‘And it will be right in the middle of the square, so there’ll be no short boundaries. It will be fair to both teams. We’ll always try to give both teams a fair chance, so I can look myself in the face and prepare the pitch as if it’s Warwickshire vs Durham in the Royal London Cup, or T20 finals day, or England vs India in a bilateral series.

‘With the weather at the start of the tournament, there’s been a lot of pressure on head groundsmen. What we really want to get is good pitches for every game we play. We want people coming through the door to say they had a good day. I don’t want the pitch to be the cause of anything.’

Now to keep an anxious eye on the forecast.

Click here to read the original article

For the latest industry news visit turfmatters.co.uk/news

Get all of the big headlines, pictures, opinions and videos on stories that matter to you.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for fun, fresh and engaging content.

You can also find us on Facebook for more of your must-see news, features, videos and pictures from Turf Matters.

Holes Appear In Cricket Pitch

Holes Appear In Cricket Pitch: Vandals have hit a cricket club in Tameside after digging up more than 150 holes on the pitch.

The damage to the wickets at Ashton Ladysmith Cricket Club was discovered earlier this week.

Holes Appear In Cricket Pitch

It’s thought to have happened some time between 5pm on Tuesday and 2pm on Thursday.

The ground on Rosehill Road in Ashton-under-Lyne is secure and to get inside someone would have had to scale a 6ft metal fence – with a spade.

That’s why club bosses believe the attack on the pitch was deliberate and premeditated.

Club house manager David Gaskin discovered the damage.

“It’s definitely deliberate,” he said.

“Over 150 holes have been dug up with a spade.

“It happened last year as well, it wasn’t as bad and we thought at the time it may have been kids but not this, this is deliberate.

“It’s the same area that’s been targeted as well so it seems like someone has a grievance against the club.”

David said it took him three hours to put the dug-up grass back in the holes but says it will be at least a month before it is fit to play on.

Members will have to use practice pitches for the time being.

“Out of 10 wickets, seven had been damaged, and they’re the main ones that we use so whoever did this knew what they were doing.

“They will have also had to get over a 6ft metal fence with a spade to get in, and needed 30-40 minutes to do what they did so it had to have been planned.

“I just don’t understand it.”

The incident has been reported to police and enquiries are being carried out.

David said the club is now looking to install CCTV and is appealing to any local businesses who would be willing to help out to get in touch.

Click here to read the original article

For the latest industry news visit turfmatters.co.uk/news

Get all of the big headlines, pictures, opinions and videos on stories that matter to you.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for fun, fresh and engaging content.

You can also find us on Facebook for more of your must-see news, features, videos and pictures from Turf Matters.

Hybrid Pitches To Transform Cricket

Hybrid Pitches To Transform Cricket: SIS Pitches has installed pioneering hybrid cricket pitches at County Cricket Clubs across the United Kingdom ahead of the 2019 cricket season.

The surface installation technology has been developed exclusively by industry experts SIS Pitches and comes as new research reveals it could have significant benefits for players and clubs.

Hybrid Pitches Set To Transform Cricket

The breakthrough has been possible thanks to SISGrass Universal, a compact and 100% electric machine with patented fibre injection technology, which combines speed, mobility and laser precision to deliver high-quality hybrid turf surfaces.

SISGrass hybrid cricket pitches have been installed and trialled in practice net areas and on main ground squares at a number of County Cricket Clubs since 2017.

Together with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), SIS Pitches commissioned research by Dr Iain James, cricket pitch specialist at TGMS Ltd, on SISGrass installed pitches at the Kia Oval, home to Surrey County Cricket Club, designed to provide insight into playability, durability, maintenance and renovation of hybrid wickets.

The report found that the pitches improved surface stability, reduced wear, reduced bowler foot holes and significantly extended hours of playing time. Futher research this summer will be carried out to ascertain whether there is increased pace and carry, and more consistent bounce from hybrid pitches.

The ECB became the first to install two trial wickets using SISGrass technology at the prestigious National Cricket Performance Centre in Loughborough and they have now approved hybrid pitches for use in the Royal London One Day Cup, Vitality Blast and all formats of second XI cricket for the 2019 season.

The pitches combine a majority of natural turf grass with less than 5% of uniquely engineered, soft polyethylene yarn, a system which has also been used to improve the quality of golf tees, goal areas, tennis courts and pitch surrounds.

Hybrid Pitches Set To Transform Cricket

In addition, repair works after play were reduced with a faster grass recovery time, while the surface remained more than 95% natural turf, meaning it will crucially still behave like a normal wicket.

Chris Wood, ECB’s Pitches Consultant, said: “The ECB is delighted with the incredibly positive results of these stitched, reinforced hybrid pitches to date and feedback from County Clubs has been most profound and encouraging.

“SIS Pitches have demonstrated their willingness through imaginative foresight, attention to detail and technological development towards converting a notion into reality which through the ongoing research since conception.

“This product has the potential to be a real gamechanger for the future of cricket, particularly in the lucrative, limited over, whiteball form of the game through increased usage and possible freeing up of central TV pitches, most importantly, without sacrificing quality over quantity.

“I’m aware that many clubs and indeed international governing bodies are viewing the ongoing progress with increasing interest.”

Weighing less than two tons and standing at 1.20m wide and 2m in length, the SISGrass Universal machine provides quick, accurate and flexible stitching, with different depths and spacing using precise laser guidance making it a practical solution for groundskeepers who are challenged to maintain uniform grass quality in high-wear areas.

One 10ft cricket pitch strip contains approximately 190,000 individual stitches of SISGrass fibre, made up of 46kg of yarn, totalling 38km, and can be installed in just five hours using SISGrass Universal.

After installation, pitches are maintained for a minimum of eight weeks to allow the profile to settle and for all holes to close and anchor the SISGrass fibres.

Phil Blackwell, SISGrass Director in the UK, said: “Some of the world’s biggest professional rugby and football teams have already seen significant benefits from the introduction of our hybrid pitch technology, and SISGrass Universal has the potential to transform the maintenance and durability of cricket pitches.

Hybrid Pitches Set To Transform Cricket

“We’re excited to see the impact it’s already having in the UK and anticipate demand from cricket clubs around the world.

“Our research and feedback from clubs and ground staff has been extremely positive so far, and our hope is that in the future hybrid pitches can be used as an alternative option to traditional wickets for practice and short formats of the game.”

Following successful trial installations, and positive feedback from players, coaches and ground staff, the demand for hybrid cricket pitches has increased with many of the top county cricket grounds choosing to have between two and six installed.

Hybrid cricket pitches have now been installed at Surrey, Lord’s, Lancashire, Nottinghamshire, Glamorgan, Somerset, Gloucestershire, Durham, Worcestershire, Warwickshire and at Loughborough University.

Watch the SISGrass Universal cricket pitch installation at The Oval, Surrey County Cricket Club

For the latest industry news visit turfmatters.co.uk/news

Get all of the big headlines, pictures, opinions and videos on stories that matter to you.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for fun, fresh and engaging content.

You can also find us on Facebook for more of your must-see news, features, videos and pictures from Turf Matters.

Supporting Grass-Roots Cricket In Mongolia

Supporting Grass-Roots Cricket In Mongolia: When the enquiry came in for a good value gang mower to cut the grass on a cricket field, it was immediately clear that the request was an unusual one. The Mongolian Cricket Association (MCA) were looking for a machine to cut the only real grass cricket pitch in Mongolia, a pitch that is the focal point of the sport in a brand new cricketing nation!

The MCA provides year round coaching and kit to state schools and orphanages, focusing on the difficult areas of Ulaanbaatar where around half of the city’s 1.5m population live in informal “ger districts” on the edge of town. A large proportion of these have no access to mains water, heating or sewage.

Supporting Grass-Roots Cricket In Mongolia

Great social inequality exists here and the MCA want to create a community where sport is the common denominator and where friendships can be made irrespective of wealth or social standing. Now coaching 250 kids a week from 10 different schools, 40% of which are girls and young women, they are certainly well on the way to achieving their mission.

“I was very touched by the work they do and in particular how they raised the USD 50K to build that first pitch in 2016”, said Richard Taylor, MD of RT Machinery. “It just felt like the right thing to do to ship them one of our Junior Tow n Mow gang mowers, together with a few spare cylinders, with our compliments, as our way of helping them further with their mission. It’s not often you can do something that has such wide-reaching benefits!”

Battulga Gombo, or Tulga as he is better known, is the heart of cricket in Mongolia and the association’s head. He says “It has been a long path for the association to get to where we have in terms of funding. Firstly was the fundraising for the pitch itself, then the nets and concrete, then the containers and the pavilion. The last item on the list of big expenses was for a mower.”

Supporting Grass-Roots Cricket In Mongolia

“As a small NGO, the mower is for us a large piece of capital equipment, and we expected that we would not be able to save up enough to buy one for at least another year. To receive it as a gift from so far away by people that have not come and seen the kids starting out in cricket and having fun, demonstrates an extremely kind, generous and outward looking attitude.”

“Now all efforts, both fundraising and energy, can go towards coaching the kids and building participation, in particular introducing the sport to the secondary school system, as requested by the Minister for Education! We have a long way to go, so if you would like to get involved, please contact us on the ‘Cricket Mongolia’ Facebook page.“

For the latest industry news visit turfmatters.co.uk/news

Get all of the big headlines, pictures, opinions and videos on stories that matter to you.

Follow us on Twitter for fun, fresh and engaging content.

You can also find us on Facebook for more of your must-see news, features, videos and pictures from Turf Matters.