September 18, 2003

Pitch replacement programme at St George's Park

Eastern Province Cricket Board

A couple of years ago EP Cricket embarked on a programme to replace its pitches. The feeling amongst the experts and pitch consultants appointed by the UCB, Prof Tainton and John Klugg, was that the pitches had come to the end of their life span. Inorganic material plus chemicals found within the soil profile resulted in the inconsistent bounce and low bounce.

After extensive research the UCB consultants found what they believe is the most suitable bulli for cricket pitches. This being Eston bulli from Kwa Zulu Natal. Since 1988 EP Cricket has under the guidance of the UCB consultants replaced three pitches with Eston bulli.

The results that were achieved show a vast improvement as compared to the old pitches. It is feared though that the Eston bulli supply could dry up and to ensure that adequate back up bulli is suitable, EP Cricket Groundsman, Adrian Carter, together with Peter Muzzell have decided to lay an experimental pitch using Stutterheim bulli which has appropriate clay levels. (Approx 70% clay content).

EP Head Groundsman Adi Carter said "The idea is to keep all the specifications exactly the same as per the previous relaying. The only factor to change will be the bulli. Using this process we will be able to deduce whether the bulli is suitable for provincial and international pitches. Should this be a success, the intention is to relay the outstanding pitches using Stutterheim bulli"