The modern game of cricket requires a surface which provides consistently safe pace and bounce. To create this environment, natural turf cricket pitches need to be evenly dry and hard enough to encourage a firm, safe and responsive surface. For this reason, nurturing the optimum level of dryness in the soil profile is a major part of the cricket groundsman’s remit.
However, when you add into the equation the unpredictability of the great British weather – with torrential downpours just as likely in the middle of August as they are in April – the challenge becomes even greater. To help their groundsmen rise to this challenge, there are a number of tools that clubs can have in their groundcare arsenal to help keep pitches dry – among them cricket pitch water removal systems.
These water removal systems generally comprise of foam rollers that can be passed over the waterlogged playing surface to ‘suck up’ excess water, and are commonly used in a host of sports – including football, rugby and golf as well as on cricket pitches.
Among the market leaders are Bowdry water removal systems; with models capable of collecting up to 60 litres of water per minute and suitable for use on both natural and synthetic playing surfaces and on cricket outfields as well as on wickets.
There are two main ways of using Bowdry water removal systems – either in pitch preparation to increase the likelihood of fixtures going ahead, and during cricket matches after rain breaks to ensure the game can continue. When it comes to how water removal systems are used, they can be used on their own - to remove isolated puddles from the pitch – however, they are most effective when used in conjunction with flat sheet covers, like those in Total-Play’s Climate Cover Range.
When used in tandem with water removal systems, the flat sheet ground covers are deployed to prevent the important areas of performance – i.e. wickets - from getting wet – either before the match or during, if rain should stop play. When rain stops, the flat sheet ground covers can be folded back, the rain on the surface of the sheet moved to less sensitive area of the field and collected using the Bowdry water removal system. The Bowdry water removal system can then be emptied at a site off the playing area.
Whichever way they are used, water removal systems offer a highly effective way of quickly drying out areas of the playing surface that are carrying excess water, and can often be seen in action at the top cricket grounds during test match play.
Another huge benefit of water removal systems is that they are great value – and are affordable enough for league clubs or schools to invest in as a great companion product to accompany flat sheets as part of the groundsman’s system.
Thecricketgroundshop.co.uk stocks a range of Bowdry water removal system products and accessories – including the machines themselves, replacement foam kits and protection bags for safe storage of the water removal system. For more details, click here.