With the season fast approaching clubs keen to ‘get the game on’ should be investing in a decent cricket pitch cover. However, it’s important to consider what solution is best for your club – as former first-class groundsman and MD of cricket pitch specialist total-play Ltd, David Bates, explains.
Modern cricket pitch covers are split into two basic categories – flat sheet ground covers and raised cricket pitch covers. Both styles have their pros and cons, and each individual ground will favour a certain style or combination of covers depending upon its topography. For example, raised mobile covers aren’t always suitable for grounds that have a gradient within or across the line of play, or where saddling is an issue, as water can run down from higher up the ground and ‘pond’ underneath the raised cover.
In this case, flat sheet covers are preferable – they can be deployed across a greater area of the ground, capturing water on their surface so it doesn’t pool. If water does collect anywhere in a ‘dip’, it will rest on top of the cover as opposed to saturating the pitch. To meet this remit, there are breathable flat sheet covers on the market that also let light through to the surface – including our own flagship Climate Cover System™ – which is designed to be left in place for extended periods.
Where possible, we recommend alternating the use of mobile and flat sheet covers to control how the pitch dries out through evaporation, transpiration and drainage. Combined with an effective rolling programme this results in a surface that gives the desired hardness – and, in turn, performance.
Whatever your budget, we’d advise investing in the best ground cover solution you can afford. At the very least, a decent single wicket flat sheet rain cover, which can be picked up for a few hundred pounds, will pay dividends when it comes to enabling matches to continue should the weather be against you. Over the years, we’ve drawn on our unique combination of experience of cricketers and groundsmen to work with scientists to develop a range of covers to meet the specific needs of cricket groundsmen at all levels. They include:
The Climate Cover System™
The lightest and only truly breathable cricket pitch cover on the market. These attributes, alongside its semi-translucent fabric, mean that it can be left on the pitch for extended periods without compromising plant health or playing surface quality. This proven performer is an outright market leader and can be found in use at Test match grounds, county grounds, local league clubs and schools across the country.
For clubs on a budget, this flat sheet cover is hard to beat. Specifically developed to meet market demand for a high performance, budget cricket pitch cover solution, it is made from semi-translucent material that is 100 per cent waterproof – designed to allow light to reach the grass plant and enable photosynthesis.
Rain Defender Mobile Pitch Covers
To provide the broadest range of ground cover options for clubs, total-play has also developed a range of mobile cricket pitch covers. The Rain Defender range of mobile cricket pitch covers has been designed to provide solutions to this challenge to suit a variety of budgets and situations; including PVC and steel-topped options, and with both dome and apex styles on offer.
Total Growth Cover
TGC creates a proven germination and propagation environment, increasing the percentage of seed germination and dramatically speeding up the grass plant establishment period. It allows newly seeded areas to be watered whilst creating air circulation and retaining moisture.
All are available exclusively online via total-play’s online store – https://total-play.co.uk/products/. For advice and guidance on cricket pitch covers, call 01604 864 575 or email firstname.lastname@example.org