Wet Weather and Dry Wickets

Steve Rousein Cricket

Wet Weather and Dry Wickets

By Steve Rouse, Head Groundsman, Warwickshire County Cricket Club

Our Test and international matches are over for the current season; we`ve still got our First class fixtures, Sunday league games and some schools matches.

I`ve been pleased at the way the wickets have played this year - they`ve been good batting wickets, despite the fact that this summer`s weather has been awful. A lot of rain, I can`t remember one game when we haven`t been pulling the covers on at sometime.

Ironically, using the covers has caused problems for the square because we`re required to cover 20 feet either side of the wicket during interruptions for First class matches. Despite all of the rain the square has started to dry out, and it`s cracking up quite a lot.

We have a couple of Sunday matches coming up on consecutive weekends, and I am preparing both wickets now. I`ll cover them up and flood the rest of the square. Then I`ll roll to try to get some water back into the wickets to moisten them up.

The outfield this season has been absolutely magnificent. At the moment we`re cutting plenty of grass. We fed with a Sportsworld 25:0:0 slow release fertiliser and it`s responded well.

On the square itself we are doing our usual ongoing repairs, filling in footholes and tapping them down ready for rolling. There has been some re-seeding with a soil/seed mix, which I`m pleased to say has been very successful in bringing the wickets back into play.

Our end of season is September 12th, and we`re already preparing for getting on to the square after that date. We will be over-seeding with a new mix which is 100% rye consisting 50% Ace and 50% Mercy. Then we`ll top dress with a mix of Surrey and Ongar loam to help bind the top.

It`s been a testing time with the weather but, overall, we`ve had a very successful season. And we`ve got plenty of work to look forward to before the next one - it will be here before we know it!

Article Tags: