Back from a fruitful trip to Australia earlier this month, KSCA curator K Sriram is eager to replicate what he learnt from some of the best curators in the world.
The BCCI curator was part of the four-member BCCI curators’ contingent picked on an invitation from Toro equipment for the 2018 Sports Fields and Ground Forum in Melbourne from April 10-12. This is the second year that the Indian cricket board has sent accredited curators for the event. Sriram then travelled to Sydney to acquaint himself with the facilities at various grounds and nature of pitches.
Speaking to TOI, the seasoned curator said, “The trip Down Under was a huge learning curve. There were a lot of nuances of pitch preparation and ground maintenance which were new to us. Once back I shared my experiences with my colleagues Prashanth Rao and Jacintha Kalyan and we are looking forward to implementing a few aspects which are practical and feasible at our grounds.”
According to Sriram, one of the key differences in pitch preparations in India and Australia, apart from the clay, was the amount of grass left on the surface and rolling.
“The soil in Australia is swelling clay. Also, they leave about 8mm grass which is then rolled with heavy rollers for a week before a Test match. This facilitates good bounce and carry initially and subsequently wide cracks appear.”
Sriram brought back clay from Australia and has sent it for testing. “Give the huge natural resources in India, I’m confident we will find the clay here that matches the one from Australia. I’ve sent the samples for testing and once we find it I’m sure we can prepare more bouncy tracks in India.”
According to the Bengalurean, one of the biggest takeaways for him was the preparation of practice pitches for the national team. “In the Melbourne Cricket Ground they prepare practice pitches like the square used for the match. This helps the home teams prepare better. They also have practice strips akin to the conditions of the first three days of the Test match.”
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