Question and Answer : Pitches

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Q: Does anyone know of a grass cutting service in the Ilford/Barkingside area, we are desperate now as our cutting equipment is not up to the task, and the grass has got to about 300mm high. It really is urgent...................can you help or know anyone that can. Thanking you in advance.

A: Maybe try contacting the Essex Cricket Board - their website is at www.eccb.org.uk

Q: What are the minimum boundary sizes for first class matches. I notice some 'out grounds' appear smaller than the more established venues?

A: In short, minimum 50 yards, maximum 90 yards, under our playing conditions.

Q: For senior (mens club 1st, 2nd and 3rd teams) cricket what is the minimum boundary length?

A: As per the Generic Playing Conditions in our Non-First Class Rules and Regulations 2006 the recommended boundary sizes in adult matches are minimum 60 yards, maximum 77 yards.

Q: What are the minimum boundary sizes for first class cricket? I notice some 'outgrounds' appear to be smaller than a home venue.

A: No boundary should exceed 90 yards from the centre of the pitch; no boundary should be less than 50 yards.

Q: At present the local water companies in East Berks. have only issued a ban on domestic hose pipe use. There is no clarity about whether this includes recreational use of hose pipes on cricket grounds and cricket squares in particular. Will the ECB establish what the general ruling is, please. This question was raised at a recent East Berks District Development Group meeting, the cricket club members of which are served by three different water companies.

A: This is something we're looking at centrally, with regards to both international/first class grounds and recreational too. But your local water board officials should be able to provide clarity on how far the ban extends.

Q: What advice can the ECb give to local Cricket clubs in SE England regarding the watering of their cricket squares? We are increasingly concerned that our own square has been devoid of water for some time, grass has not grown as it should (and has in the past) and local water company's are threatening to impose further regulations. Can the ECB negotiate on our behalf and /or offer some help? Dave Gracey Frindsbury CC (North Kent)

A: Hello Dave. This is a situation ECB is aware of and is currently in discussions with the appropriate authorities as to the nature of 'water bans' and their appliction with regards to sports venues. We can't negotiate directly with your local water company on your behalf; although we would suggest that you make contact with them by yourselves or with other clubs from your area/league to see what you can negotiate.

Q: The local School has a artificial pitch which could be of great benifit to both the School and the local club team however the pitch is practicaly useless as it has no bounce especialy for the young bowlers! Is there any practical way of restoring the pitch and acheiving a respectable amount of life from it?

A: Difficult to say without the strip. Suggest you make contact with our facilities specialists at facilities@ecb.co.uk and see what help they can give you, or a route to get advice locally.

Q: I seek advise on the upkeep and maintanence of our village cricket square - book, pamphlet or other source would be much appreciated.

A: But we don't have an printed guide you can download. But there is info on Training Courses for Groundsmen - and links throug to the IOG website.

Q: I thought i saw a download for assistance towards Pitch Prep and Maintainance, I cant seem to find anything now using the search, I am the groundsman of a local club with a Brand new Ground and it would be helpful with the new season as we havent played on this ground yet!

A: Please see our Pitch Properties and Performance section for research in that area. But we don't have an actual guide you can download. Sorry! But there is info on Training Courses for Groundsmen

Q: I am the cricket section secretary for Indian Gymkhana. The club is a feeder club for Middlesex and affiliated with the ECB. We are not a cash rich club and rely heavily on goodwill to move the section forward. A good pitch is the starting point for every club. Last season's pitch leaft a lot to be desired with too many drawn matches. Our ground team have done a lot of hard work over the winter to improve the wicket, but we now require the loan of of a Spiker at least two weeks. The spikes should go at least 2 inches below ground level. I am informed that this is something the ECB can help with. Can you please confirm. Thank you.

A: You are correctly informed that the ECB can assist your request for a loaned spiker for your square.

This can be obtained via the Middx County Board's Association of Cricket Groundsmen. There is a nominal hire fee, lower for registered clubs. The machine is a "Groundsman" and is capable of a 4inch penetration. I would strongly advise not to use a machine with just 2inch tines as this can cause problems with the upper soil profile of your pitches, detrimental to the playing performance.

Please contact the Middlesex Pitch Adviser, Steve Martin on 07967 183877 for details.

You might like to arrange for Steve to inspect your square and offer advice on how to further improve your playing facilities.

Joining the MACG would enable your club Groundsman to benefit from meeting fellow members and attend forums and demo occasions.

Hope this information helps.