Practice is an essential part of any sport and more so with cricket. Good practice facilities are essential for practice and coaching to be effective. Be they a single bay or multiple lanes facilities are constructed to the same exacting standards.
Facilities can be constructed with continuous bases and surfaces or as individual batting and bowling ends, which reduces the potential cost of maintenance and future replacement of the playing surfaces. ECB recommends that all practice facilities should have a synthetic surfaces extending a minimum of 170mm beyond the cage frame, to protect the netting from potential damage during grass cutting, and we construct all facilities greater than a single bay with at least 400mm.
Surround surfacing is laid on a minimum 40mm depth of graded stone. Each component of the facility is individually fixed for ease of maintenance and future replacement.
It is essential that facilities are suitably matched to the surrounds, particularly where they encroach into the outfield. Frames are 42mm diameter, 3mm gauge, heavy-duty tubular steel with netting securely fixed to the side and complete roof to minimise the risk of balls leaving the practice lanes. Netting is supplied with a 3.90m drop for 3.60m high frames to ensure they reach the floor without being excessively tight.
Installation of a triple bay facility at Bedford Cricket Club, incorporating batting and bowling ends of different base types and Verdegrass surround and cage.
During installation attention to details is of paramount importance, be it the setting of the frame sockets, the joining of adjacent surfaces or the anchoring of the net to the ground.