Questions and Answersfoobar
Q: A few years ago I took over my local Club to stop it folding. Having never prepared a wicket before it was quite an initiation! I can now prepare a decent wicket, but I am having problems with bounce. Having just rolled the pitch there is a very obvious sponginess on the top when pressed, this is taking the pace off the ball and I need to find out how to remedy this. It would appear just to be the top cm or so. Is there any advice that you could give me?
A: This characteristic is almost certainly down to thatch – a build up over time of dead organic matter on the surface which acts as a shock absorber to the impact of the ball. Pitches with this condition generally play better with a little moisture in the surface, still low and slow but even performance rating, as to when really dry the ball can often “bite” into the top with the resultant indifferent bounce/turn.
Unfortunately the only feasible time of the year to attempt to rectify this problem is autumn post-season. There are various machinery available to remove some or all and will depend on identifying the depth of offending organic content and financial resources available.