With many small cricket clubs being forced to buy old second hand equipment and rely increasingly on volunteer help its no wonder that groundsmen find it increasingly
difficult to produce quality pitches for the entire cricket season.
Many cricket clubs are now heavily reliant on sponsorship by local businesses and members, local fund-raising and donations to just keep head above water.
The pressures on clubs can escalate hugely when the pitch is in a shared space with winter sports or even as is the case with many clubs in public parks.
The general public just don’t seem to respect the work of groundsmen any more and you will regularly suffer dog fouling, burnt areas from barbecues and all sorts of debris lying around for the groundsman to deal with.
And of course there is the weather to contend with! The problems associated with climate change make it increasingly important for us to maintain our cricket pitches with an eye on making sure they are playable shortly after some of the most extreme rainfall we have ever experienced.
This calls for good preparation and a year round maintenance program which deals with drainage, compaction and thatch problems in order for us to prepare good pitches throughout the cricket season.
Unfortunately this need for greater attention to detail and an increased work load that was never factored into the budget in the past does have a serious financial impact on many cricket clubs.
The growing burden of work that your groundsman has to deal with includes:
- Defining the Cricket surface so that we know what results we are aiming for
- Assessing of the surface in order to judge what maintenance is required
- Early spring maintenance to prepare the pitches for a long (hopefully hot) summer of play
- Making sure that Health and Safety is acknowledged and planned for
- Planning for the constant mowing of surfaces throughout the season by preparing machinery and work rotas
- Scarifying & brushing the surface to make sure we are controlling thatch and preparing a smooth surface
- Carrying out Aeration work to keep the oil and turf healthy, disease free and free draining
- Managing Irrigation, including water resource planning, budgeting and timing of work
- Drawing up and Implementing a comprehensive rolling timetable
- Applying fertiliser when required and ensuring that this is timed optimally for matches and turf requirements
- Setting out of the square and making sure that pitches come into their best at the optimal time
- Preparing the pitch for play
- Marking the pitch for play
- Pitch repair & renovation and re-prep for next cycle of play
- Maintaining the outfield
- Maintaining non turf pitches and nets
- Ensuring pitch quality in respect of
- preparing a surface that is even throughout, with no undulations or depressions;
- Delivering a well consolidated pitch that consistently provides good and appropriate ball bounce;
- Maintaining a dense sward of desirable grasses with deep and dense roots to aid quick recovery from play and preparation
- Maintain pitches for longevity, typically each pitch might have to withstand the equivalent of three, five-hour games.
Now for a well-off private club to make all of this happen when it needs to happen is tough enough, but when you throw in the major financial constraints most small cricket clubs suffer from then this can seem impossible.
This means that for the club to make headway through the leagues and enjoy success, which of course breeds success not just on the pitch but also in general membership retention and growth and in attracting quality players to the club, not to mention increased takings over the bar if you have one then a different approach is needed.
That’s where Greenmaster can help.
We have been helping small cricket clubs for over a decade to improve their facilities, relieve pressure on their groundsman and to squeeze more value out of their maintenance budgets.
We regularly undertake some of the less routine work on cricket grounds for small clubs. This is the kind of work which is onerous and time consuming for your groundsman leaving him less time to do the important pitch preparation work that makes all of the difference on match day.
We can work away in the background as your unseen grounds support team to make sure all of the essential but less obvious work is completed efficiently and economical using our up to date machinery, operated with our fully qualified and experienced staff.
Some of the work we can help you with includes:
- Aeration: Slit tine, Solid tine, Sarrel Rolling, Hollow tining of ‘Saddles’
- Top-dressing by hand or machine
- Re turfing worn ends
- Fertiliser application both solid and liquid
- Scarification, Verti-cutting and Vertigroom
- Drag brushing
- Irrigation maintenance and supply of parts.
- Pesticide application including Fungicide, Contact Herbicide, Insecticide and wetting agents
- End of season Pitch Renovation
There’s never been a better time for clubs to take advantage of outside help and there has never been a better resource for clubs to tap into.