ECB (England & Wales Cricket Board) code of practice non-turf pitch installer and developer of the ECB-approved tp365 synthetic cricket system, total-play Ltd, has recently constructed two non-turf match pitches on behalf of Milton Keynes Council.
The pitches were installed at Woughton-on-the-Green Recreation Ground in Milton Keynes, with the aim of providing a facility to encourage people new to cricket to take up the game through the popular short 'LastManStands' format. Now something of a global phenomenon, the T20 8-a-side game was first played in London in 2005 and has since gained a huge following, with over 30,000 players registered worldwide. Played on a non-turf surface, LastManStands cricket comprises of games lasting 2 hours or less, with the aim of getting all players involved and sides only bowled out when all 8 players are dismissed.
The game's convenient short format means that it can be played during summer evenings, making cricket more accessible to both juniors and to senior players new to the sport. Chris Parnham, Duty Manager at Woughton on the Green's Pavilion says:
"We were keen to provide a facility for LastManStands Cricket as we think it's an excellent way for people to get into the game. We approached the ECB for funding and were successful in our bid; and selected total-play as one of the ECB's recommended partners. We found the total-play team great to work with from project planning through to completion, and it's been brilliant to see the new pitches so well received - they are particularly popular with our junior players who like the pacey, exciting format of LastManStands."
To help the council provide a suitable facility for both match and practice play, total-play built the new match pitches to its renowned, ECB-approved tp365 design. Each measuring 30m x 2.74m the pitches benefit from a system designed to offer the perfect balance between bat and ball and encourage spin; to provide a playing experience that closely mimics a perfectly tended natural wicket. This makes tp365 a great choice for clubs looking to add LastManStands cricket to their repertoire, as total-play's Business Development Manager, James Coney, explains:
"A huge amount of work has gone into the development of the tp365 system; drawing on the expertise of groundsmen, professional cricketers and turf specialists to provide a safe and consistent pitch with the correct pace and bounce to promote every aspect of the modern game.
"LastManStands is a fantastic concept - it is encouraging interest in the game from those who may find traditional match play difficult to fit around busy modern lifestyles, yet enables youngsters to develop the techniques and skills they need to play the full format game while gaining competitive experience. All in all, it's little wonder we're getting increasing numbers of clubs and organisations enquiring about match pitches to enable them to get involved in this exciting new sport."
For further information on tp365 and total-play's range of non-turf cricket surfaces to suit all needs and budgets, call 01604 864575 or visit www.total-play.co.uk.