After a long, cold winter groundsmen all around the country are this week making their final preparations for another hectic and demanding county season. Pre-season matches against Universities and the like started last week and this signifies the beginning of a gruelling six months for each and every person employed by counties across England.
The question that every Head Groundsman must be asking himself, especially those who also stage International cricket, is: Can I produce enough good pitches? Staff have to prepare early season pitches that are good enough to withstand four days of Championship cricket as well as thinking ahead to the beginning of the Twenty20 cricket schedule. This is an almighty challenge in the modern climate.
Every season the county schedule seems to become more clogged with fixtures and it has been increasingly worse of late with the booming popularity of Twenty20 cricket. Have the counties and the ECB taken it too far? There's certainly an argument that they have. It's all well and good trying to make as much money as possible from Twenty20 cricket but even Twenty20 crowds seem to be in decline with the vast amount of the shorter format that is available every year.
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