Question and Answer : Pitches


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Q: hello i would please like to know how big a average cricket pitch should be and how long should the wicket be ►►Thank You♪•

A: You can find details on pitch size in the Laws on the MCC's website

Q: Thank you for your response regarding the regulations concerning pitch inspections. You state that "this isn't something that we've published in the public domain, and not covered in our first-class regulations and playing conditions". Can you please explain why this information is not in the public domain? In this era of open and honest communication surely it is to everyone's benefit that all parties, including spectators, can fully understand the circumstances which may or may not lead to the suitability of a wicket for first class cricket being examined? Thanks Brian McCullough

A: Not every communication between ECB, counties and component bodies/parts of the game on all manner of procedural issues is published in the public domain.

Q: Hello sir/madam i do not particularly like football but they use stadium roofs to cover the rain wen they play in rain anyway! why do cricket stadiums not have roofs? sometimes rain spoiles the whole spirit of a cricket match and it dissapoints crowds of people. can they not be built?Siddharth vyas 12 please answer!

A: Massive area to cover, would mean a massive roof, and massive cost. Even then, there would be bounsd to be problems with the grass as a result of loss of sunlight.

Q: I work for the Guardian Newspaper and promote the paper in the South West. I would like to set up a stand perhaps or something selling the Guardian with our free ashes guide and free gift on the Cricket in the Park 12/13 August in Queen Square Bristol, but there seems to be no information as about how to contact anyone about these types of things. Please can you help! Also can you just turn up to Queens Square or do you have to have some type of ticket even though it's free?

A: Have passed to our Commercial Department to get in touch with you.

Q: I have recently taken over responsibility for preparing the wicket at my local club. Last year the pitch was disappointing with low and variable bounce. We think that a large contributing factor to this was that the pitch had not been frequently rolled for many years. We purchased a prehistoric roller and began rolling from April. (I know a little too late but thats the best we could manage) Each wicket gets a roll at least once a week and the bounce has improved being less variable but still not very high. A friend of the club who had worked as a groundsman pointed out that because dead grass had not been removed form the pitch in previous years this had formed a fibreous top layer to the pitch. Could you provide some advice on how I could go about improving the playing surface. Is rolling the wicket making things better or worse? James Dix

A: Hi James,

Sounds like you drew the short straw when you took on the pitch preparation at your club! However, full marks for endeavouring to improve the playing performance.

Over the years I have seen many squares that display similar characteristics as that you describe.
Low, slow and sometimes variable bounce is caused by features within the soil profile that cushion and diffuse the impact of the ball on the surface.

This can be; excessive spongy organic matter on the surface on the surface (Thatch), Excessive fibrous organic content within the profile. (Holds water). Rootbreaks or discontinuities within the top 100mm of the profile. (Causing air pockets and diffusing the impact horizontally) or excessive moisture within the profile causing a soft pitch.

Some squares display all of these features and require major surgery at the end of the season coupled with a correct maintenance routine.

As you may deduce, your former Groundsman friend is probably on the right track because excessive thatch on the surface will nullify the effect of the roller as it “springs” back after compression.

I would advise you to contact your County Board to seek the assistance of your County Pitch Advisor who is trained to seek out and offer recommendations tailored to your club’s resources or contact me for further advice.

Good luck, Chris Wood

Q: I am trying to find GUIDLINES for outfield dimensions for junior school cricket - ie u/9, u/11 & u/13. The ICC rules give specifications for different pitch sizes for these categories, but I cannot find anything regarding outfield dimensions. I know these are generally not specified, even or the open game, but I am also conscious that if a field is too small children do not learn how to run between wickets or understand the nuances of field placements. Fields that are too big are also problematic. Can anyone please help? Many thanks, John

A: The ECB recommendations for junior cricket contain details, as you say John, for pitch length, but not for outfield size. There are no official guidelines for this. So it's more a case of common sense and what seems best for particular groups or particular ability, and obviously what space you have to play with too.

Q: could you please tell me the size of a regulation cricket pitch as we have organized a match at our local park and need to mark out a pitch.thank you.

A: Please see the Pitch section of the Laws on the MCC website

Q: Which artificial pitch manufacturers does the ECB recommend for village/ general club use

A: You can find details of ECB Approved non-Turf Pitch Installers and Pitches here on

Q: Our practice is currently engaged in the design of a new facility for a club in Middlesbrough. We are currently having problems achieving concensus as to what the minimum size for the field can be. Our current advice from a Sport England document refers to a 46m radius length and width measured from the centre of the pitch in use. Is this correct? If not where would I find the definitive information? Many thanks.

A: There is no definitive size for a recreational cricket ground. ECB's recommendation for non first class adult matches in 2005 is a minimum boundary of 60 yards (55 metres) and a maximum of 77 yards (70 metres) - which is the boundary measured from the middle of the pitch being used on the square. So if you know how big the square is in the middle of the ground, you can work out the area required to be able to accomodate all matches to the played, including those on pitches at the extremeties of the square. Hope that helps!

Q: I am a groundsman and need to know what the recommended pitch lengths are for various youth cricket matches

A: Please see the ECB recommendations for junior cricket