How important is the quality of an artificial cricket pitch?
As the home of cricket Lord’s has the reputation of having the highest of standards and traditions. Whilst continually remaining at the forefront of development in technology which help improve the game. In the spring of 2014 MCC consulted with JMS Sport UK with regard to using their unique Cool Plus Cricket Carpet to resurface the indoor cricket centre. One of the issues with the existing surface was that it had been fixed in place using an epoxy adhesive. This made removing the carpet incredibly difficult and even though a specialist commercial machine had been brought in for the job, it simply wasn’t up to the task. However, not to be beaten and thinking on our feet we resorted to the power of our van and a car to remove the remainder of the carpet. The floor was then cleaned, buffed and screeded to give a smooth level surface. JMS Cool Plus Carpet is unique in the way that it is made from individual extruded fibre tapes and not fibrillated yarn. The fibres used determine how consistent the performance of the ball will be and the extruded tapes allow for a denser carpet providing a far superior performance during play. Permanent crimping of the yarn during the texturising process gives it a unique strength and also increases durability. The JMS Cool Plus is then loose laid over the base to give the final performance area. The loose lay fitting allows for an easily accessible maintenance program should any issues arise. It has also allowed MCC to install pitch vision technology under the carpet to aid coaching. This would not have been possible if a stickdown surface had been used. [Players: Come on.] [Players: Howzat] I think one of the challenges that’s always with indoor cricket is that you always want to try and make it a good simulation for outdoor cricket. That’s why people are here they’re trying to work on their games for their club’s for their school’s counties where ever and even their countries. Yeah, and you know the old style surfaces that are made of rubber are just far too bouncy. So this is a real welcome treat to have a surface that really does feel like grass. You know and I think it’s probably gonna help with injuries and things like that too possibly. As a bowler as well as very difficult indoors wearing flat sole shoes on rubber surfaces as you slide around a bit more. You almost change your action to suit the surface and so that, you know, with this being thicker and spongier and reacting more like grass it’s a much more realistic kind of simulation its going to be much better for people’s cricket. From a batters perspective the surface is a lot quicker now as a result of the various groovings that are there that allows the spinners to move the ball as they want to. Which wasn’t there about four years ago when I started playing here. For the pace bowlers as well it’s a lot quicker and comes on better which is a lot more realistic which is what they want in a net session. My opinion of the new services that its is very good. I think that the challenge always with indoor cricket and training indoors in the winter is to try and create a facility surface that replicates grass outdoors. And it’s something that a lot of places have tried and really failed to do but I think that this has really shown that the technology’s begining to work I think this is going to be really accurate and a really good place to practice now. As a parent I’m looking for excellence. I get the excellent coaching but also the surface is an important part of that and definitely worth while waiting. The new surface is excellent. My son tells me the response has been really good both in terms of his footwork and the consistency of the ball bounce on the pitch and those are all important factors when you’re when you’re practicing. I think the new surfaces really good, it’s more realistic. When you’re batting on it it feels nice under the feet, it feels comfortable. If you have a trigger movement you can move easily. It just feels really realistic. For more information on JMS Cool Plus or to find out how JMS Sport UK can help you Call 01535 609 777