Here’s some tips for making the perfect backyard cricket pitch.
With the summer season upon us cricket fever has well and truly swept the nation. The West Indies and India will be taking on the Black Caps this year and there’s no reason why Brendan McCullum and Tim Southee should have all the fun.
The cricket fanatics at Kennards have come up with the ultimate guide to transform your backyard into your very own mini cricket ground so you can share in the glory.
The key point to remember when building your own backyard pitch is that you need to adopt the mindset of a groundsman as a pitch requires care, attention and patience.
1. Determine the best area in your yard for a pitch and mark it out to the dimensions you desire. Allow space for fielders, boundaries, and potentially a viewing area. Keep in mind that the best backyard arenas have their own nuances that add character and a home-ground advantage to the owner, such as short or long boundaries, garden beds that are out on the full, ‘electric wicket-keeper’ set ups and the classic ‘six-and-out’ trap.
2. Next, flatten the pitch by mowing the grass as low as possible. The pitch needs to be hard to accommodate bounce and allow for spin and movement off the seam. It’s best to use a push mower for the pitch for precision and accuracy, take care to stay within the marked lines.
3. For the outfield, the grass will need to be well-kept and relatively short so the ball rolls freely and batsmen can relish in a well-timed cover drive for four. Hire a ride-on mower to tackle big lawns with ease.
4. Once finished mowing and there is a clearly defined pitch, it’s a good idea to compact the surface to kill off any remaining grass. Professional groundsmen use a roller for this step but if you’re like the rest of us, it might be hard to track one down so instead, hire a plate compactor from your local Kennards. Make your way over the whole pitch and focus on making the surface as flat and hard as possible.
5. Finally, mark the pitch with the crease(s) and where the stumps will go. Line markers are available to hire from Kennards Hire and will add a final professional touch to your backyard field.
With your backyard now in pristine cricketing condition you are well equipped to take on the summer of cricket in style. Now all you need to do is figure out who gets to bat first!