Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Artificial wicket issues

I was invited to a meeting tonight at B&PCC to discuss the coming year with regards the youth teams, as both my sons play in them. In amongst the usual meeting discussions was interesting point that one of the other Dads made with regards the wicket at Mopsies park and the impact that it may have on the boys games. He mentioned the fact that almost without exception all of the opposition this year were teams who's home grounds were grass wickets. Whereas our lads play and practice on an artificial wicket, which obviously has different bounce, turn and carry characteristics to a grass field. He mentioned that he'd observed several of our boys playing for balls that they expected to bounce more and as a consequence lose their wickets. He also pointed out the game against Wickford a couple of years ago where Joe took 2 or 3 wickets with his Leg-Spin on a proper grass wicket.

Off the back of it was a discussion as to whether there might be some scope to have a 20 or 21 yard grass wicket next to the artificial wicket. But it was a very interesting point and one that certainly merits some consideration.

On the subject of wickets.........

I also learnt that as of Tuesday the wicket at Mopsies Park is going to undergo a pretty major refurb. This year instead of the basic scarification, top-dressing and seeding approach it sounds like they're going to scrape the whole of the surface layer of grass off or dig it over/in and re-flatten and level it and re-seed the whole pitch. So I'm interested in seeing what the sub-surface is like and what there is underneath. By digging it over and re-rolling it, they're going to undo years of compression, so in theory the grass growth over the winter and early spring is going to be more vigourous and healthier. The surface will be aereated and the grass seed used can be selected in order to facilitate a grass cover conducive with its use? They'll also have the option of
taking away the old surface earth and bringing in a new mixture with a different ratio of clay and organic matter, or mixing clay or organic with the existing earth.

I'll try and get down there and have a look I reckon, and see what they do.