Start up at Edgbaston
We have been working hard to get the square and the outfield ready for the first of our pre-season friendlies on the 12th April.
We have cut out the wicket and surprisingly enough it is already dry enough and hard enough to play on at the moment.
Due to the weather that we have had over the last couple of weeks, the lads have managed to get in a lot of rolling. To date the square has had nearly 65 hours of rolling. The square has been scarified three ways all over and cut as well in three directions.
We have removed a lot of rubbish, and the square looks very good, lots of grass coverage, but very healthy looking.
We have just over-seeded the new Test wicket that was laid two years ago. This wicket was constructed using the 'Old Trafford' mix from Surrey Loams.
There are pre-germination sheets on this wicket at the moment, hopefully we will get the grass up in the next couple of weeks.
The first Championship wicket on the square has also been cut out ready for the Lancashire game, but the day after that we have the first Benson and Hedges game which will be on TV. So we will have to get one of the wickets ready that has the cabling for the cameras buried behind the stumps.
As I said all the wickets are firming up nicely, but without tempting fate it will probably be pouring down on the first day of play!
The outfield has been vertidrained twice through the winter, using thick one inch tines to a depth of sixteen inches. It was fertilised last week, and we have been cutting it regularly.
Dare I say it, we could do with a drop of water on it!