Synthetic Grass Cricket Pitches You may remember the days, not terribly long ago, when just about every park and football oval in Australia was adorned with a slab of concrete around 22 metres long and 3 metres wide sitting slap bang in the centre. In the winter months it may have been covered with a thin layer of soil if you were lucky. In the summer months it was covered by a couple of coir mats that didn't quite meet in the middle. That's right, I'm talking about the cricket pitches that used to be the domain of the Saturday arvo cricketer. There was no such thing as a synthetic grass pitch in the 1970s and before. You either played in the big leagues on a turf pitch or you were consigned to the bewildering minefield of playing on mats. The idea of making kids bat without helmets on a mat-covered surface with two massive seams at mid-pitch where the mats didn't quite meet is quite amazing these days. The Saturday morning operation of picking up the threadbare mats from the home ground sheds, lugging them out to the coaches car and hoisting them on the roof-racks are still etched in my memory. Right along with the short pitched delivery that either took off and arrowed in at the throat after hitting the edge of the mat. Pegging the mats out so they were more or less flat on the concrete slab was imperative but inevitably slapdash as the pressure was on to get the game started. A knock of 50 was a cherished, hard won achievement when you were happy enough to simply slope off the ground with your head still attached to your shoulders. The mats are gone today. Synthetic grass pitches have replaced the concrete and mats and it's like batting in the lap of luxury. Laid on top of the old concrete a rubber shock-pad is first put down to give the surface a firm base. Then the polyethylene synthetic grass is laid which is a medium pile grass that has non-abrasive qualities. Not only must the surface be firm enough and durable enough to withstand missiles hitting it at pace, it also has to be pliable enough to both maintain the surface of the ball as well as protect the winter sports participants. With the new synthetic grass cricket pitches, batsmen can now rely on an even surface to bat on. Bowlers get a slightly springy pitch from which you can still extract some movement. And winter sportsmen no longer have to worry about the dangers of being tackled on the cricket pitch area. The coir mat has been rolled up and loaded onto the coaches car at the end of a hard day in the field for the last time. Discover more improvements that have been made to sports grounds around the world thanks to the introduction of synthetic grass surfaces.
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