How Cricket Clubs Can Combat Winter Weather to Keep the Game On

how-cricket-clubs-can-combat-winter-weather-to-keep-the-game-onIt’s hard to get your head in the game if you are stuffed with the challenges of playing cricket in the winter weather. Surprisingly, cricket clubs have a massively efficient way of handling this natural constraint. For some people, this may seem like a mystery. In reality, it’s a matter of excellent management and well-timed maintenance strategies that make it possible in real life.

In a perfect cricket match, the weather is sunny and the ball bounces in the verdant and uniform grass of the pitch area. During winter, it is more difficult to imagine a finer form of game play. But the most enthusiastic of cricket players and equally determined ground maintenance staff members can assure you that the game goes on even with the presence of winter. Even with the best snow blowers on the market though, they still have to go through a handful of preparations to ensure that the field is still suitable to play on even they’ve cleared the snow on the ground.

How Cricket Clubs Prepare their Fields for Winter

1. Extra attention is required.

In general, the ground maintenance staff in charge of maintaining the cricket pitch is extra attentive during winter season. If there is one time in the grass maintenance calendar where they will be expected to do more or overtime work, it will have to be during winter season. Winter season problems, when left unattended, snowball into bigger problems that are much harder to deal with and can interrupt with the game schedules.

2. Overcompensation measures are done during spring.

This is an open secret in the industry of cricket club grass maintenance. The bulk of the magic work done on the pitch happens during spring. This is the time where they maximize the growth and resilience of the grass mixture. They can choose to over-seed and prepare for contingencies that will inevitably happen due to natural wear and tear and sensitivity of grass to frost and other elements of winter. The gradual rolling, scarification, and other processes that are done in early maintenance work before the winter season comes in all help in making for a sturdier cricket patch that can withstand even the coldest of winters.

3. Handle frost issues with light rolling.

One of the top damages that happen to grass is when it gets exposed to too much frost. And usually, the remedy is to have habitual and frequent light rolling activities on the affected areas to break the frost and prevent it from wreaking havoc on the grass. If it’s not thoroughly invasive, ground maintenance staff members watch out of frost round the clock and do the rolling activity as soon as the schedule allows. Of the many areas afflicted by winter, it is the windless areas that suffer the most from frost problem and will often need a light roller handy.

4. Stick to a maintenance schedule.

A rigorous and almost religious adherence to a fixed schedule ensures that there are no things that fall through the crack. It makes sure that all bases are covered. There are a lot of activities varying in intensity depending on season and weather conditions. For winter, the schedule is more frequent although other activities like aeration and intense root growth fertilization are not entirely feasible given the limits of the weather.

5. Supercharge grass and root growth.

One of the best ways to prevent the grass from getting destroyed is making sure it has taken deep root on the soil and the growth remains aggressive for all season. This is usually done with the help of regularly applied nitrogen fertilizer and pre-seeding operations. The aggressive growth will compensate for whatever natural damage frost can bring to some of the grass. The ground maintenance staff members will just have to be extra alert to fill in the gaps in the patch, if any. This requires a sharp eye to inspect the terrain regularly.

6. Remove thatch and foreign materials immediately.

The big challenge during winter is that unremoved thatch and foreign materials tend to worsen the quality of the playing area more quickly. The risk of leaving something on the field is higher considering the difficulty of being meticulous while working in this kind of weather. Foreign materials need to be removed immediately in order to maintain the pristine condition of the cricket pitch.

7. Frost protection technologies are being explored by some groups.

More tech savvy and cutting edge cricket club maintenance staff employ the use of frost protecting technologies through chemical injections to the soil. This is somehow experimental and are still undergoing trials before entering the scene as a mainstream option for winter season cricket pitch management.

Cricket clubs do not combat winter per se, but they spend a lot of time in maintaining the grass and making it as resilient as humanely possible. With these admirable efforts, the game can certainly go on and cricket fans will always have a fun day whether the sun is up or not.

Also read: How Important is Fitness to be a Good Cricket Player?

How Do They Get the Grass So Perfect at Cricket Clubs?

how-do-they-get-the-grass-so-perfect-at-cricket-clubsCricket club players may be hustling for their next win, but the behind the scenes preparation for the grass where they are set to play is an award winner for its intensity. There is an immensely unbelievable amount of work involved in maintaining the perfection of cricket club grass.

The grass is not just immaculately perfect at cricket clubs on its own. It’s a combination of art, science, and extreme diligence of the cricket club’s ground staff members. In the same way that the cricket players have their calendar of the playing season, the grass maintenance of the pitch area is also something that has its own corresponding calendar that is bustling with activity all year round.

Cricket pitch standards are set to excellent condition.

There are three general things forming the main criteria of the cricket pitch standard: even and free of sinking areas/depressions or undulations, balanced enough to facilitate ball bounce, and grasses have good density of roots and solid depth. Underneath these three general categories are many other factors from structure (length of grass, weed management, rootzone depth, etc.), appearance or presentation (surface is free of debris, appearance is uniform, and colour of sward is excellent), and implications to playing quality (rolling distance of the ball, hardness of the surface, grip, friction, etc.) The selection of the grass and the maintenance work required of it is not randomly chosen. It has its own set of standards and recommending guidelines outlined by organizations such as the English and Wales Cricket Board.

Pre-season Maintenance Work

January to April is the pre-season of cricket. Maintenance work is done when soil is dry during pre-season. The work involves gradual rolling work. There are light rollers in February at first and then heavier rollers by end of March, as heavy as 1.5 tonnes. Moist ground is ideal and spiked rollers to regulate the depth of the soil in preparation for the growing grass.

Mowing, Scarification, and Dragbrushing Magic

The magic of these three processes indicate that grass maintenance in cricket clubs is not a simple, run of the mill lawn mowing operation and you can bet nothing but the best zero turn mower on the market are used these fields. Reducing the height of the grass from its winter height (12-25 mm) through mowing is essential before the season of playing cricket begins. Depending on the grass type, the ideal height ranges anywhere from 10-18mm. Scarification must be done sparingly to encourage leaf growth without making the roots suffer underneath. Dragbrushing, on the other hand, allows the straightening of the grass or maintaining its upright position. You do more of these activities during playing season.

Playing Season

During the playing season, the maintenance work during pre-season is continued but uses more intense frequencies and there is some focus on irrigation requirements through the use of rotary sprinklers and a daily routine of pitch preparation. By this time, dragbrushing has a daily schedule and is done religiously along with mowing, scarification, and rolling.

Fertilisers and Chemical Applications

Earthworm problems are common as winter changes into spring. Spraying schedule to deal with the earthworms and other problems depends on the pitch condition and weather requirements. Fertilizer with a little iron is good for the pitch, and light application of fertilizer can begin by middle of March of as much as 2 g/N/meter-squared.

Post-Match Renovation Activities

After the playing season matches, the maintenance work involves removal of debris, repair of damaged areas like footholds with heavy clay loam, fertilizer rejuvenation, fine grass clippings, and pest control.

End of Season Maintenance Work

September is the end of cricket season and there are special maintenance work activities during this phase. It includes dew removal, aeration at a depth of 125 mm, scarification, multi-direction overseeding using an ideal grass seed mixture with the perennial ryegrass (lolium perenne) being one of the most popular, and continuation of earthworm control and application of fungicides.

Given this high level of maintenance for grass, a handful of cricket clubs offer non-grass varieties in their playing field and some wickets of the playing field are not made of grass, but this has its own set of guidelines and recommendations for maintaining a pristine condition. Even in something so seemingly simple as a patch of grass that forms a cricket pitch field, all the best and perfect things really take a lot of time and hard work to accomplish.

Do You Need to Be Fit to be a Cricket Player?

do-you-need-to-be-fit-to-be-a-cricket-playerCricket is a game that tests the physical endurance, stamina, mental strength and skills of a player. The sport demands so much from the players. A test match is more demanding than a one-day cricket. The fitness requirement also vary depending on the role of the player. Cricket players are required to dive, chase and sprint in order to try and stop the ball. They should remain alert and have to be continuously on their toes.

Fitness requirements

1. The batsman is where the game rests. They possess the skills to hit the ball, scoring through the gaps found or using the ball’s kinetic energy to change its direction. This requires both mental and physical skills. The batsman do not have to be muscular like a football player but must possess muscle power to hit the ball and place it where he wants the ball to be. He should have a very strong core and abdominal mid-section to generate power from the actions of his upper body. Aside from lifting weights, batsmen do a lot of cardio like running and at least an hour on an exercise bike. When you read through exercise bike reviews by UK consumers, you’ll learn that most of them no longer need separate routines to target their core muscles because a stationary bike can provide that. Of course, doing some abs exercise as well won’t hurt.

2. The fielder must be mentally and physically strong. He must keep his concentration for the duration of the game, which can last for 7 hours in a one-day game. In a test match, the fielder need to have full concentration for 5 days. Cricket is a game that is played in various weather conditions, be it sunny, rainy or cold and when you’re not physically fit, you might not last the game. The fielder can dive after a ball, jump to catch it or run after it.

3. The bowler requires muscular strength to throw the ball. There are several manners of throwing the cricket ball, and in each one accuracy is needed.

A batsman usually covers about 6 to 8 kilometres during a test, whereas a fast bowler more or less cover half a marathon, meaning 13.1 miles or 21.1 kilometres. However, a batsman runs with higher intensity, with frequent changes of direction. He should be agile and must be able to repeatedly accelerate and decelerate. Cricket requires bursts of power followed by a short recovery period, wherein they must quickly lower their respiration and heart rates in order for their decision making processes to remain sharp.

How Important is Fitness to be a Good Cricket Player?

How Important is Fitness to be a Good Cricket PlayerCricket – it’s a sport that is widely played and wildly supported by both men and women, and it is gaining more and more popularity by the day.

It’s hardly surprising that many youngsters are opting for cricket coaching over other sports. Lots of aspiring cricket players dream of making it big, and pursue their training with passion and dedication to the point of investing in exercise equipment for their home like a Gold’s Gym Home Gym. Fitness in cricket used to be rather underrated, but its importance cannot be stressed enough. Here are some reasons why you need to make it a priority if you are (or aim to be) a serious player.

1. Fitness = Stamina

Cricket matches test your stamina and physical endurance. With the shortening of match duration from test matches to one-days and then to Twenty-twenty’s, players have to focus on making the most out of the time they have and giving their all. Games are far more fast-paced and demanding. A good workout routine and diet do wonders to improving a cricketer’s performance.

2. You need to play multiple positions

Fitness is essential no matter which position you fill – whether you are playing as a batsman, a bowler or a fielder, the game will be physically and mentally taxing and a well-maintained physique is always a plus.

– For a batsman: Batsmen are the real crowd-pullers. People love to watch the ball soaring past the boundary, and in short matches hard-hitting is necessary. While the technique of the batsman plays a major role in his ability to pull off a 4 or 6, the significance of the player’s fitness must not be undermined. Sheer bulk and brute strength attained by rigorous fitness routines are often the secret of a batman’s success. The stamina built by working out helps batsmen tirelessly score runs.

– For a bowler: A bowler need to be in great shape to perform well without sustaining an injury. Muscular arms are needed to deliver a ball with force, speed and accuracy, and exercises for building arm strength are vital to bowlers.

– For a fielder: Every cricket player has to be a fielder at some point or the other during a match, and a fielder has his work cut out for him. He needs to run after the ball, throw it back across a distance with all his might, and often risks bodily harm by diving to make a catch. A flexible and athletic body, accustomed to stretching and running, makes for an excellent fielder.

3. You have to give your best under trying circumstances

Cricket players need to showcase their skills in every kind of weather, where it’s in the scorching heat or the pouring rain. A robust and healthy physique AND immune system are key characteristics of players who can endure and excel in such adverse conditions, both of which can only be earned by being fit and working to stay that way.

Whether you are an established cricket player or you play for a minor club, a good fitness regime is instrumental to excelling at the sport. The fitter you are, the better your game!

Also see: The Family Commentators Of Father And Son

The Family Commentators Of Father And Son

endThe father and son combination will present the match for the first time on the UK radio. The commentary will be live on talkSPORT 2. Don Topley, the former Essex player and Reece Topley, the Hampshire bowler will make a great combination. Reece shifted from Essex to Hampshire and had played 10 ODIs and 6 T20 for England. He was at the World Twenty20 competition held in India. Speaking on Reece joining the commentary room, Don said that the Topley family is proud of his achievements as a popular white ball bowler and went to say that Reece can offer insights from the International scene. Reece will now be forced to comment on his colleagues Eoin Morgan and Sam Billings. Don also made it clear that he may not agree with everything that Reece says.

1440432792-5e015df1a9463cffd8aaacb29f90c626-300x300Speaking on talkSPORTS 2 coverage, Don said that it had been top class, and he would be glad to correct the mistakes. Welcoming his son to the radio world, Don said that they are two different personalities and have diverse opinions on the game and would be bold in sharing their views on air. The Managing Editor of talkSPORT 2 Mike Bovill said that it would be awesome to listen to the father and son combo as both are highly talented cricketers. Bovill was affirmative that the combination of a seasoned old player with the first-hand experience of the current player would be a treat for the listeners. The duo is sure to bring new life to the match feels the managing editor.

talkSPORT 2 is a popular sports broadcast coverage of live sports. The radio not only covers cricket but also rugby union, tennis, La Liga, rugby league and more. Apart from this, the radio station offers a host of exclusive magazine programming for the listeners that is not available with national commercial radio. This helps to connect with sports buffs and listeners offering a diverse range of sports news and other features.

Read Also: Appeasing The Cricket Gods

How To Scale Alastair Cook In Comparison With Tendulkar And Mark Butcher?

Sachin-Tendulkar-CricketerThe most supported English cricketer of the time Alastair Cook has entered into the record book with a ten thousand test runs to his credit. A middle class, handsome, resilient, polite and unassumingly tough, Cook is a hero to the English. His fan following shows that he is probably one of the most followed cricketers in the country of the modern era. According to statistics, he has scored 10,000 runs, and his average of 46 is considered to be better than any English opener. Though, the opener cannot be compared with his contemporaries like Tendulkar, Pointing, Lara and Dravid as his average is less in comparison. But that does not stop him from being one of the greatest as he always on the top of the batting lineup.

_40622879_butcher300300There are some who resent Cook because they feel he is privileged and is an offshoot of favoritism. Some feel that he was cold to Kevin Pietersen. These people feel that Cook is overrated and is projected to be one of the best players in the country, while they do not agree with the fact. The critics say his 10,000 run achievement is for staying on the pitch for longer than due to his skill. There were times when Cook was shown favoritism when he batted badly by retaining him on the team, feel the critics. The reviewers also feel that the player was given a lot of time to prove himself which other players were denied like Michael, Carberry, Bell, and Ian.

There may be some hardcore critics for framing him for Pietersen’s ouster, but it cannot be denied that Cook is still the best batsman on the team. The decision on Pietersen after the Ashes debacle was just to project a scapegoat and Cook was just party to it. Though, it is hard to change a decision even if he wanted to believe, a few of Cook’s supporters. The cricketer is the best in the Asian conditions. His game is typical to the subcontinent and his technical acumen against spin is commendable to say supporters.

Read Also: The Family Commentators Of Father And Son

The Fading Interest On One Day Internationals

600x300xPak-vs-NZ2.jpg.pagespeed.ic.tlzfjVkQuSA new study has revealed the reason behind the dwindling enthusiasm among the cricket fans for the ODI matches. It is said that the fans look for interesting performances from both sides, which keeps them occupied till the final moment. They do not want their team to give thrashing performances, and it is said that they prefer equal performances from both the teams.

It is also said that the fans do not want absolute victory over the match and that they prefer the match be dramatic with uncertain outcomes. It doesn’t matter of their team wins or not; they just want the match to be interesting. This outcome was based on the analysis of data worth 35 years. There is also a concern expressed about the structure of the World Cup matches and the inequality that is seen in the sports.

There only 10 teams that are going to be a part of the world cup matches. In 2011 it was 14 teams, and it has come down to 10. Experts say that the fans want to see two similarly qualified nations perform equally and that both the teams must provide a tough contest. The fans expect the team to win after a struggle; they don’t like only one team to perform gloriously while the other team underperforms.

The fans do not want a predictable match, say the experts. They also examined variables like team strength, attendances and spectator wages to understand the trends that are seen in overseas matches. Experts also say that, when people start getting larger income, they start to move on to expensive games. To keep the interest in cricket, it is said that adding cricket to Olympics is one of the currently discussed solutions. Recently, ICC announced that there would no longer be permanent seats for England, India and Australia, the big three of the cricket.

Appeasing The Cricket Gods

sachinIs there anything as adding the Gods thing to the checklist? Well to begin with not much prominence was given to this aspect. As to the custom of the Ovals, to win the game, a team needs to win the toss and bat. If you didn’t do it, you land up in trouble. The two captains who faced the wrath of the cricketing Gods are Chef and Punter. At the Gabba, Nasser won the toss and asked Australia to bat. That day he was left helpless as Australia scored 364 for 2 on the day one. The Gods had their way, and Nasser was left high and dry. As a punishment, he won the toss at Adelaide, sent the team to bat and yet lost the match. So, has he angered the Gods?

Is it just the toss that the Gods are interested in? No, it is also about behavior. It happened to England again, as they lost the series after Eoin Morgan was tempted to call Kevin Pietersen and this was the moment the fate was rewritten. The wickets were lost in heaps and England ended up losing the series. This is not all Morgan scored nothing, and it was a disaster for the players.

The Gods were enraged once again, despite the best behavior. Al was a sprinter between wickets and with 3000 innings he was yet to be beaten between the wickets. But the judgment of Cook on the Oval pitch was far from reproach. After taking the role of the captain and piling up runs and centuries, pushing bowlers efforts to the stands mercilessly, one fine day he walked away from the ball, and this turned out to be a disaster. For the first time, he learned what it would is to be run out. The Gods picked him for his mistake, and he was brutally penalized, where he lost a run for eternity.

Is M S Dhoni The Best Finisher To Be On The Field?

dhoniThe former Indian Skipper has always on the most debated subject whether he is the best finisher in the history of cricket ODI. The matter has to be decided based on the merits. Before coming to a conclusion, it is important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the cricketer when it comes to finishing the match. After analyzing his skills, the player has to be compared with those who have exhibited similar capabilities. While studying the acumen of this cricketer, he was judged to be the perfect option to be on the field when the game is in the tight spot.

MS DhoniFinishing a game is not just about playing into the crowd, it is about being a good runner between wickets. The wicketkeeper is not just the quick to pick up runs but also good at judging the possibility of a run. He is great with positions and cuts and can be a complete entertainer hitting the ball into the crowd. The player can put his rivals in a tight corner every time he is on the field forcing the captain to set a field exclusively for his potent. But the irony is, when Dhoni sets his foot on the field, the fielders are always in demand.

The player has exceptional talent and is a great manipulator. He is designed to be the best finisher for ODI matches. The Mr. Cool as he is always dubbed is capable of handling any pressure on and off the field. His capability to put the opposition under check has him and his team at the advantage. He is complimented by his colleagues and contemporaries for his level mindedness and his ability to stay calm even under tremendous pressure. The cricketer has exhibited immense character and strength during tight situations. He can be called the toughest and can handle any situation.
Read Also: How To Scale Alastair Cook In Comparison With Tendulkar And Mark Butcher?