Behind the Scene in Making in a Cricket Pitch
Many people around the world find cricket to be enjoyable, both as spectators and players. That is why the sport has managed to garner a huge fan base over the years. For a cricket match to be successful, there needs to be a good cricket pitch alongside the right gear and players. A good cricket pitch is one of the most important factors that contribute to a good game and that is why today we discuss how to make a suitable pitch.
For starters, cricket pitches are supposed to be hard and flat during preparation in order to produce a suitable playing surface. It is essential to have a pitch that helps both the batsman and the bowlers to move swiftly. For this to happen, the surface should offer pace and bounce. If the pitch is slow, a batsman finds difficulty playing shots on and at the same time, it doesn’t assist the bowler.
Let us go through the steps for making a good cricket pitch. But first, we’ll take you through the different types of pitches to find out what a good cricket pitch is.
Different Types of Pitches
· Very Soft Pitch
If a pitch is too soft the game will be extremely slow. The ball will form pockmarks on the ground and seam around much slower than expected. Chances are, the ball might pop up hazardously.
· Very Dry Pitch
When the cricket pitch is extremely dry, it tends to break up and crumble at the slightest movement. The pitch can take a spin and since it contains numerous small fissures that don’t hold together, they pull off from the pitch, with a possibility of wreaking havoc. In this case, covering the pitch with grass can aid in holding the dry areas together. However, if it’s very dry while rolling, then getting sufficient compaction will seem like an impossibility. This will end up breaking up the pitch.
· Very Hard Pitch
Before the game begins, the cricket pitch is not supposed to be too hard, although the main aim is to make a hard surface. The hardness of a pitch is a desirable quality when it produces good compaction during the process of rolling. As you prepare the pitch, you shouldn’t leave it exceedingly dry out as this can cause extreme hardness. If a pitch gets extremely hard, it will induce stress on the grass which then minimizes the drying of the grass cover laid on the pitch.
· So, what is the Ideal Cricket Pitch?
A good cricket pitch is perfect all-around and benefits everyone involved. It enables the bowlers to acquire pace while allowing hitters to play the shots. All the fielders will get involved in the game as the turfgrass remains even throughout the entire pitch. A good pitch presents a straw-colored outward form accompanied by a burnished finish, giving the players the much-needed confidence to engage in the activity.
Steps to Making a Good Cricket Pitch
I. Find and Measure the Wicket
The first step is to find a good area for preparing the pitch and begin measuring it to obtain its perimeter. Measuring the pitch is best done using a string line so that you get accurate results. Then, you can define the corners of the table either using a paint dot or an even metal peg. You then begin taking across measurements from each end of the defined corners of the wicket table and place a peg on either end. Do the same for the other corners on the pitch. This results in four marked corners on the wicket with accurate measurements. The next step is to tie a string on every peg and ensure it’s held on tight.
II. Water the Pitch
Watering the now marked area is essential to deeply wet the soil profile. Shallow watering doesn’t produce hard or bouncy surfaces for playing cricket. The best soil for making a cricket pitch is clay as it has a low permeation rate. However, the amount of water required is depended on the type of soil on your cricket pitch. Applying small amounts of water many times allows for perfect soaking into the soil profile.
III. Rolling the Cricket Pitch
Once you identify that the pitch has achieved optimum firmness, then it’s time to place a roller on it to start the rolling process. Ensure that the pitch is dry before rolling to prevent bringing up moisture and darkening the surface. Use a lighter roller for wetter ground and a heavier one for drier soil. You can either roll the pitch in three directions, including; longitudinal, cross, or diagonal rolling.
IV. Cut the Pitch
Using a cylindrical mower, begin cutting the cricket pitch. Cutting will depend on the type of grass used, period, and your preferred grass height. You should ensure the height of the grass is perfect for root development because it’s essential for good results.
It’s best to cut the pitch in one direction then going to the next cut in the opposite direction. This is essential as it rests the grass in two altered directions, appearing as light and dark which forms an attractive pattern. However, make sure that there are no visible stripes on the pitch as that could cause a distraction to the batsmen.
V. Apply Grass Trimmings
Grass trimmings are important for an overall pitch presentation. This is necessary if your pitch displays different and uneven colors. The trimmings help prevent any damage that would occur on the turf coverage on the pitch. What’s more, the grass trimmings need to be of the same color and well dried up to achieve an even color of the pitch. After placing the grass clippings on the areas that need them, roll them down using a roller to achieve an even ground suitable for playing.
VI. Mark Up the Creases
You want your pitch to look presentable and shaping up the creases is one sure way to achieve this. You need to allow the pitch some time if it is the first time marking it up to ensure a neater finish. Make fine straight lines parallel to the ends of the cut pitch and the sharp corners to ensure a perfect appearance.
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VII. Cover the Pitch
Covering your cricket pitch is essential for regulating the amount of water that gets seeped down the pitch. It is also ideal as your pitch will be covered in case of a downpour. Additionally, depending on the weather, covers tend to sweat, providing moisture to the ground underneath.
VIII. The Pitch is ready to be used
After days of preparing a cricket pitch, it is now ready for use by the intended cricketers. Make sure the pitch is ready a day before the actual game so that you can touch up on areas that need improvement. Remember that pitch presentation and appearance are key factors that determine the confidence of players.
Making a cricket pitch is a task that requires patience, effort, and commitment. The process can be tedious and time-consuming, but the results are rewarding. The best thing about making cricket pitches is that you can always improve on where you feel you went amiss. Just make sure to keep in mind the factors that may affect the pitch. These include weather, the type of soil, period of the year, and more.
Main Image Source: Pixabay
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