Cranfield and ECB research launch new guidelines on rolling cricket pitches
New guidelines launched today by Cranfield University and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) could save over 700,000 hours of cricket pitch preparation time across the UK through more effective use of rollers.
The findings are a result of four years of research by Cranfield's Centre for Sports Surface Technology commissioned by the ECB, which aims to develop a scientific understanding of the rolling of cricket pitches in order to optimise pitch preparation. The research marks a significant shift from current practice and understanding in cricket.
Chris Wood, Pitches Consultant, England and Wales Cricket Board, said: "This is research that I'm pleased to say will go a long way to dispel the myths and legends and instill sound and economical rolling practices for the production of quality pitches across all levels of cricket."
Over 100 ground staff across England and Wales were consulted throughout the research process to identify the scope for improvement. Results demonstrated that in first class cricket, the number of roller passes over the pitch ranged from 5 to 280, allowing plenty of scope for optimisation. The guidelines themselves state that the optimum pitch preparation during the summer is around 10 roller passes.
Dr Iain James, Senior Lecturer and Head of the Centre for Sports Surface Technology at Cranfield, said: "This research will lead to better pitches and more efficient pitch preparation. We calculated that if all clubs in England and Wales were to target their rolling using these guidelines, the reduction in rolling time with save a total of over 700,000 hours of rolling per year and reduce the carbon footprint of cricket by an equivalent of a small housing estate. In addition, there will be cost savings in terms of fuel."
The guidelines, aimed at both professional and volunteer ground staff, are available to download from the Cranfield website at www.cranfield.ac.uk/sas/sst/rolling or from the ECB website at www.ecb.co.uk/rolling