Cricket Rolling Survey

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Cricket Rolling Survey

By Editor


Cricket groundsmen will be pleased to hear that the rolling research by Cranfield University is now well under way. The ECB sponsored project 'Rolling optimisation for cricket pitch preparation' aims to develop a better understanding of the interaction between the roller and cricket soils and to provide practical solutions to roller related problems.

One of the most important factors responsible for the quality of play in the game of cricket is the surface on which the match is played. Pitch preparation should encourage pace, but with a predictable ball bounce that will provide a fair and safe playing surface. The unique soils and climate of the UK represent a particular challenge to groundsmen whose skill in pitch preparation is admired around the world. Good cricket groundsmanship is a result of experience (both first hand and handed down), intuition and dare we say luck! Very little scientific work has been undertaken in the UK to directly quantify the effects of rolling on cricket soils or to determine optimum rolling practice. However 200 years of practical groundsmanship has, through trial and error, produced a management routine that is successfully followed by most groundsmen - albeit refined for their own particular circumstances.

This research will determine optimum soil conditions, in conjunction with roller design and operation, to maximise soil compaction. Potential problems resulting from inappropriate rolling management will also be investigated. On completion, guidelines for optimum roller management based on this work will be made available to help groundsmen at all levels of the game get the best performance from their cricket pitches.

An important aspect of the project is to investigate current practice and to identify variation between regions or levels of play. This is important so that we can design our experiments to meet your requirements. A survey questionnaire has been produced to collect data for this purpose and has already been circulated to a large number of groundsmen. If you would like to complete this questionnaire online click here Rolling survey. This survey is for all cricket groundsmen of cricket clubs registered with the ECB and it is your opportunity to make a contribution to this research which will hopefully benefit you and your colleagues - all eligible entries will also be automatically entered into a prize draw on completion of the questionnaire (closing date for the prize draw 1st May 2006). All details will remain confidential and reports only published from aggregated data. Groundsmen from other countries are welcome to complete the questionnaire but unfortunately will not be eligible for the prize draw.

Peter Shipton
Research Engineer
Cranfield University

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