Lancashire Update (18/04/02)
Well this pre-season year has been completely different to the last one. After coming out of the wettest winter on record, the ground was so unfit that we lost the first fourteen days of cricket. I have not had to endure a season like the last in my professional career and hope that I will never face that nightmare again!
This year with the build up to this Friday's first Championship game we have enjoyed probably the driest start to the year since 1980. This has obviously been a great help to all concerned and so far has left us in control.
The new turf that has been laid, where we had the drainage works, has knitted in well and has obviously dried out extremely well. I am confident of getting the first game started on Friday without any hitches.
I am hoping that the summer turns out to be as good as this spring has been and we can enjoy plenty of good cricket.
I tend to roll each individual wicket, because the square has now been completely rebuilt, over the last few years and the wickets have become very hard, in fact we have had to water to gain that softness for the rolling and general preparations that we undertake.
The wicket that is being prepared for Friday has come on nicely and will provide a good firm bounce. There is some rain forecast for the next 24 hours, so we are covering the square, but the forecast for the weekend is dry weather. After this game we will start preparing two wickets for the Benson and Hedges matches later in the month and also start the preparation for the Test pitch at the end of June.
We also host pop concerts at Old Trafford, and I have been holding meetings with the Stadium Manager to discuss the logistics of five days of music festivals in the summer. One of our biggest problems is the citing of the stage, so that it doesn't interfere with the square in any way.
I will update you all on how the pitch has played after our first game next week, but I am also now planning the end of season renovations for my other club, Sale R.F.U. So I hope to bring you the works that are planned there as well.
Good luck for the season start to all of you.