County news October 14, 2008

Oval drainage to be overhauled

Cricinfo staff

Scenes like these will hopefully be fewer and farther between © Getty Images

The Oval is to overhaul their drainage and irrigation system over the next three months at a cost of £750,000.

The project will aim to drain 30mm of rain per hour - a guideline set by the ECB - in order to ensure as much cricket is played as possible, and to avoid delays in play. The developments will bring The Oval in line with other grounds, such as Lord's, whose drainage is among the quickest in the world.

"We're extremely conscious in providing world-class facilities here at The Oval for all spectators, cricketers and all other important stakeholders to enjoy," said operations director, Clive Stephens.

"Therefore this project is paramount in helping us achieve this. The work will ensure that the paying public's opportunity to watch cricket is maximised, with rain delays being kept to an absolute minimum.

"We're also pleased to say that in addition to an already superb cricket wicket that is continually produced by Bill Gordon and his team, they'll also get the added benefit of a flatter and greener looking outfield which will be easier to maintain thanks to our new state-of-the-art irrigation system."

The system is expected to be completed by Christmas.