Preparation of cricket pitches
- By Polly Umrigar
I do not think there is any person who can be 100%
right in reading how the pitch would behave in the
given circumstances. With experience one can
predict to the extent of 90% accuracy but the
remaining 10% can prove one wrong. That is one of
the reasons why the game of cricket is so
WHAT IS A GOOD PITCH?
A good pitch is the one:
Which is dry, firm, well rolled and which provides
even bounce through out as also the pitch lasts for
the duration of the match.
TYPES OF SOIL AND THEIR CHARACTER
SOIL forms the most important ingredient in
preparation of the pitch. Due to climate variations
it would be impossible to standardize on the
treatment to be given to soils in different parts
of the country when preparing the pitch. The use of
right soil is most important for the production of
CHARACTER OF EACH SOIL INGREDIENT
BLACK SOIL/CLAY SOIL:
These soils to some extent have binding qualities.
However, any excess water on the top will not dry
easily as there is not much porosity in these
DO not have much binding qualities. However having
greater porosity than black soil or clay soil, the
drying of the pitch is quicker.
Morrum soil is slightly yellowish in color and has
good binding properties.
Manure acts as fertilizers and helps the grass on
the pitch to grow quickly.
NUMBER OF PITCHES TO BE PREPARED
WHEN the pitches are prepared, care should be taken
that they are prepared in odd numbers say 5, 7, 9,
and 11. The main reason is that when a match is
played on a pitch, the two side pitches also get
damaged due to the bowler's follow through which
leaves some spike marks. Therefore it is advisable
that these two side pitches, are well rolled and
also have some more grass left on it.
One should see that no two matches of long duration
are played on the same pitch one after the other
because after every game it requires nearly 15 to
20 days to get the pitch back to its normal
condition. If two matches are consecutively played
on the same pitch then there are chances of the
grass on the pitch being damaged so much that it
may not grow evenly during the season.
Once the season is over, practice nets could be
arranged on the center square before preparing the
square, by spiking the squares and removing old
mixture, for the next season. More use of the
pitch, the better bounce you will get from it.
Therefore practice pitches are always faster and
bouncy than on pitches on which the matches are
TO BE CONTINUED....