Having regularly put off replacing its 20 year-old practice nets with the possibility of the facility being moved as part of a future major redevelopment project, Essex CCC enlisted sports surface specialist total-play Ltd to help bring the system up to scratch ahead of the 2012 playing season.
Years of heavy use by both professional and academy level players had seen the club's original nets become worn to the point of being virtually unusable, with just a single lane in use before work was undertaken. However, with the project 100% funded by the club itself and the possibility of major redevelopment of the Ford Ground still on the horizon, a solution that brought the facility up to standard within a restricted budget was essential.
Here total-play's expertise really came into its own. In order to limit costs the existing sub-base and net framework were left intact.
However, to increase the effectiveness of surface levels throughout the facility the existing dynamic base was agitated and perimeter edge kerbing laid to the previously unused lane. Upon this refurbished base total play installed its tp1 Wilton Woven carpet and tp2 shock pads, the aim being to regulate the ball bounce provide a game-like level of performance on every delivery.
New nets were manufactured specifically to fit the existing framework using specialist black netting, and were constructed to provide extra protection and isolation for the batsman. The new nets also feature sight screens that can be switched from black to white depending on whether one day or test match balls are being used; a special request by the club.
Completed in early May 2012, the refurbished nets are already in regular use - especially given the recent poor weather. Head Groundsman, Stuart Kerrison, says:
They are an essential facility, especially during poor weather, and the response to the finished product has been great from committee members and players alike - not only are they functional but they also look good!
"The total-play team was very professional throughout. Advice was always on hand to help guide us through any problems and the lads on site were excellent - tidy, efficient, communicative and did a good job."
To find out how total-play Ltd could help breathe life back into your non turf or natural playing surface, visit www.total-play.co.uk or call James Coney on 01604 864575.