Cricket wickets and outfields are all different and have their own peculiarities. Grassform’s experience in the construction and maintenance of cricket wickets and pitches is vast, and we ensure that expert planning and care are foremost when we take on a project.
Want to speak to one of our professional team members about our cricket pitch construction services? You can reach one of our team on 01277 353686.
When constructing a cricket wicket or pitch, specialist materials are required to fulfil the needs of the club, players and client. ‘Ball Bounce’ that is regular and uniform is essential, so specialist loam soils are used over clay to provide the correct level of activity when the ball hits and leaves the cricket pitch.
When you approach Grassform to design, construct or maintain your cricket wicket or pitch, you can be assured that we will provide a solution to meet your needs, budget or other restrictions. A budget that dictates a more cost effective solution does not mean that a quality cricket wicket or pitch cannot be constructed – we merely utilise a different level of materials. We are also specialists in cricket wicket renovation, and can utilise a wide array of our equipment to remove an old pitch, rebuild a new one and laser level to ensure a perfect playing surface for future years.
We can do all the groundworks for you or if you are doing the work yourselves why not hire some of our specialist Construction Machinery with or without a driver.
Construction of a new Cricket Square
Design Considerations There are several design considerations to make before embarking on construction of a new cricket square:-
- Size of cricket square?
This will depend on the amount of intended play.
- Is a drainage layer required beneath the square?
This will depend on factors such as underlying soil type, drainage of the area and the quality of the square required.
- What depth of loam is required?
A minimum of 100mm consolidated is recommended but 150mm may be required on light, free-draining soils or over a drainage layer.
- What type of loam?
This decision should be made depending on the level of cricket played/ quality of the square required, whether adequate water is available, the experience of the groundsman, equipment available especially for rolling, and of course the loam supplier – locality, transport costs, consistency of product.
- Perimeter Drain required?
If it is considered necessary to insert a perimeter drain (for wetter sites or where water run-off is likely from higher ground), then it is important to get the desired final size of the square correct!
Construction of Cricket Square The basic principles are as follows. Please note that this does not constitute a specification, for which further expert advice should be sought – Please contact us or STRI contact details are below and state you found this information on the Grassform web site.
Section A: Formation of Drainage Layer
- Remove topsoil only and stock-pile.
- Removal of underlying subsoil to produce the formation surface ~300 mm below finished level.
- Trimming of exposed subsoil to produce a smooth uniform surface free from ruts, humps and depressions. Fall of the land needs to be considered and retained if appropriate.
- Pipe drains are then laid in the subsoil to a minimum depth of 600 mm below finished ground level with a minimum fall of 1 in 200. The trenches are backfilled to sub formation surface with approved 6-10 mm angular or broken stone.
- A 125 mm firmed depth layer of approved 2-6 mm hard angular gravel or broken stone is placed over the drained sub-formation surface.
- The stockpiled topsoil is replaced in layers, firming each one before applying the next.
- The upper 100 or 150mm (as appropriate) is left for the placement of cricket loam.
If no drainage layer required, start from here (Having first excavated the upper 100 -150mm as required)
- A clay loam suitable for the standard of cricket to be played is then placed on the surface to provide a minimum final firmed depth of 100mm or more if considered necessary.
- Careful effort must be made to form a level, firmed surface approximately 25mm higher than the outfield. Use of level pegs and hand raking and heeling is still the preferred method but suitable modern machinery such as laser-guided blade-grading equipment and notched roller mounted to a compact tractor can also be used, provided that prevailing ground conditions are sufficiently dry.
Seedbed Preparation and Seeding
- A pre-seeding granular fertilizer is applied and raked into the immediate surface.
- The preferred grass species for cricket is currently dwarf rye grasses. A mix of at least 3 cultivars should be used with cultivars chosen for their tolerance to close mowing. Sow at a rate of 350 kg per ha, dividing the seed in half and sowing each half evenly in transverse directions by broadcasting and then lightly raking in.
It is strongly adviced that agronomy advice is sought in the early months of the square’s development to avoid/ overcome problems such as poor germination/ growth, settling, disease, pests, poor bounce, etc. The grass will need to be nursed along initially and play should not commence too soon – before the turf and underlying soil profile are suitable for use.
Information provided by Sports Turf Research Institute who are an independent market leader in turf-grass research and agronomy. It is the UK’s national centre for consultancy in Sports & Amenity Turf and a recognised world centre for research. Sports Turf Research Institute’s consultancy team advice at over 2000 turf facilities, including golf, soccer, rugby, cricket, racing, bowling and tennis.
The information is aimed at highlighting the general needs and considerations for constructing and maintaining a cricket square. However, it should be noted that every site and situation is different and advice would normally be tailored accordingly. Please contact Sports Turf Research Institute for further details of our cricket advisory service, covering construction, research and maintenance – www.stri.co.uk.
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