Last Updated
Saturday, March 20, 2010  10:19 PM

Acknowledgements to Dubbo District Cricket Association Inc. and the Fiji Turf Wicket Project

Concrete Synthetic Cricket Wicket
A concrete synthetic wicket consists of a concrete slab with a synthetic grass carpet glued to the surface. It is suitable for junior and senior cricket at all grades up to 1st Grade. With normal care the synthetic grass surface should last up to ten years before replacement.
Refer to the attached plan which shows the wicket being a single concrete slab in the shape of a rectangle 2.00 x 20.12 metres (22 yards) with "flares" at each end to serve as bowlers runups. The flares start at 2.00 metres increasing to 4.00 metres in width, with either side being 5.00 metres. The concrete slab is thus 29.92 metres long, varying in width from 4 metres to 2 metres. On top of the concrete slab is stuck a synthetic grass surface 22 metres long and 1.83 metres wide.
Materials

  • 7 x cubic metres 20mpa concrete
  • 70 sqm plastic sheeting to go under concrete slab (optional).
  • 65 sqm reinforcing mesh (suggest 7mm bars at 200mm centres)
  • 100 plastic "bar chairs" to support reinforcing mesh.
  • 1 x 22m x 1.83m SuperGrasse Shield grade synthetic grass carpet
  • 20ltr Everstick carpet glue
Tools
  • 70 to 75m x 100mm concrete formwork. 14 x 5m lengths of 100mm C sections would be ideal and can be reused on each wicket.
  • 2 x blocks of wood 300x100x50mm
  • Concrete finishing tools including edge trowels, screed level, whirly-bird.
  • Carpet laying tools including notched contact glue trowel and carpet roller.
  • 1 x small can white paint and 1" brush.
Approach
The steps involved in developing a concrete synthetic wicket are:
  • Select a suitable site
  • Arrange sufficient funding to pay for your materials
  • Secure any necessary approvals from Council or the owner of the land
  • Arrange sufficient suitably qualified labour
  • Lay the concrete slab and leave it for several days to cure
  • Lay the synthetic surface
  • Mark the crease lines
  • Leave it for a day before playing on it
a) Site selection
The wicket should be located in the centre of a cricket ground. Ideally, for senior cricket the ground should be large enough to mark an oval boundary measuring 65 metres from the stumps at either end of the wicket. The recommended size for U/10's is 40 mteres and U/14's 55 metres.
The wicket should be aligned to run approximately north-south so that the setting sun does not distract either batsmen or bowlers.
Ideally, the site of the wicket should be slightly higher than the surrounding outfield to allow run off of water after rain.
If other sports use the ground during the off-season then try and position the wicket so it does not fall within the boundary of soccer, football or hockey fields. If the wicket does fall within such a boundary it will be necessary to cover the wicket with dirt during the off season. This involves extra labour and can shorten the life of the wicket. A synthetic wicket can tolerate normal spectator traffic if it is located between two football, soccer or hockey fields.
b) Funding
You must confirm how your wicket will be paid for before you start construction.
There are three main elements of cost: the concrete slab; the synthetic mat; and labour. You can reduce the cost of your wicket by addressing each of these elements separately.
Labour
If you are lucky your labour cost will be reduced to a couple of cases of beer. You should be able to recruit or press-gang local players or supporters who have some experience in the tasks required who will "volunteer" their services in return for a cold drink when their task is finished. If you have cultivated good relations with your local council then they may supply their expert staff free of charge or for a nominal sum. You will need one person to manage the project, an expert concrete finisher to supervise laying the slab, a carpet layer to install the synthetic mat, and several labourers.
Concrete slab
You should be able to get the local council to cover the cost of concrete for the slab if you undertake to supply the labour. The argument is that the wicket becomes their asset available for community use when not used for your competitions. You may need to negotiate a cash contribution towards part of council's cost for the concrete - this will depend on your standing with them, but remember they can usually buy it cheaper than you can. If this doesn't work you may be able to call on some personal favours to secure a good deal from the local concrete supplier, or you may be able to offer a sponsorship deal in return for advertising etc. The hard way is to mix the concrete by hand.
Synthetic mat
Your cricket association has hopefully negotiated a good deal on the purchase price of the synthetic mat, but you will most likely be called on to cover some, or all of this cost. Determine from them how much you have to pay (and when) and then work out how you are going to cover it. Since a synthetic mat is an identifiable thing you should be able to make it the focus of a special fund raising effort:
  • You might secure a local sponsor who will donate the cost in return for publicity, or a sign at the ground, or some other favour that your group does for him.
  • A local community group (eg Lions Club) may adopt it as a project if you demonstrate that it will be good for local kids.
  • It may be the excuse for running a fund raising disco or other function.
  • You may get the local council to pay for it.
  • You might apply a special levy of say $1 per week on your local players.
  • Or a combination of the above.
When looking to raise funds for a project such as this, remember:
  • If you can't negotiate on the price, try and negotiate on the terms (ie when you have to pay it).
  • Identify all those who will receive a benefit from the project and then look to what you can get out of each of them in terms of cash or labour or favours returned. In the case of a synthetic wicket the beneficiaries would include your local cricket clubs/teams, local players, schools (they will use it), council (they will own it), the local pub (if you drink there after the game), the local sports store (if it leads to more players buying bats and kit), etc.
c) Approvals
You will need approval from the owner of the land (usually council).
You should also seek approval from other sports that use the ground to make sure that they will not be unnecessarily inconvenienced either by the location of your wicket or by your construction process. This can normally be done via the local sports council.
top of it. The idea is that we want to create a gentle slope from the natural ground level up to the surface of the concrete slab.
Place dirt in the voids where the stumps go.

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