Council relays synthetic wickets for safety

GREEN TOP: The new synthetic turf is laid out at Rushforth Park 1.
GREEN TOP: The new synthetic turf is laid out at Rushforth Park 1. Clarence Valley Council

CRICKET: Clarence Valley Council's 12th man was working overtime last week as the local government relaid two synthetic wickets in the region.

As part of the council's annual budget, two wickets are upgraded each year in a matter of safety for players and umpires.

This year it was Rushforth Park 1 and Lower Fisher synthetic that were resurfaced, replacing the tired and worn astroturf.

Council open spaces co-ordinator Dave Sutton said the council also hoped to recover the synthetic pitch at Ken Leeson Oval this summer.

"Each year we have the finances to do two wickets, and we look around the Valley to find the ones that were falling apart,” Mr Sutton said.

"These turfs get worn down to basically just concrete pitches, especially around where the batsman stands and where the bowler lands his final steps.

"There is a playability issue but there is also a safety need for the fix.”

The resurfacing has put doubt in the minds of batsman across the Clarence River Cricket Association GDSC Second Grade ranks, due to an expectation the new surfaces won't play as straight.

After South Services were caught in a bind at 4-4 at Lower Fisher Park on Saturday before the hail hit, it is safe to say those fears have been realised.

But according to Sutton, batsmen will not have to worry for too long.

"It is just like any good wicket around the world, on day one it plays this way and on day five it plays that way,” he said.

"Of course the day after they are laid you can expect a fair bit of movement off the wicket but as they age they will revert back to holding true.”

Topics:  clarence cricket clarence valley council council cricket cv sport pitch