The Groundsman

May 2012

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the Groundsman May 2012 A busman's holiday! IOG Jersey Branch Secretary, Steve Landick, reflects on a 'flying visit' to the Singapore Cricket Club - as part of a recent holiday with his wife! FEATURE 41 Steve on the Singapore Cricket Club's outfield "On a recent stopover in Singapore, during a holiday cruise with my wife to China, I could not resist visiting Singapore Cricket Club. I had the previous day been driven around the ground twice on a city tour and I could see the pitch from my hotel swimming pool (on the 8th floor!). "I made contact with Kristen Mansfield, the club's Field and Tournament Manager. Kristen, an Australian, invited me around the following morning and i left my wife at the pool – this was not the first time on holidays that I had disappeared for a couple of hours to look at local stadia! - and I was warmly welcomed and introduced to Rashid Miah, Head Groundsman. "We walked out to the square to look at a wicket being prepared for the following day's match. The wicket had a good even colour and was very hard. The overall square was Bermuda grass, which is extremely resilient, fast growing and very hard wearing. "Kristen explained that the square was covered every night with heavy-duty polythene. The prepared wickets had a layer of hessian placed over them beneath the polythene, to reduce sweating. All wickets are prepared in the normal way except that, after a wicket is taken out of play, sprigs are used to reintroduce grass back to the worn ends. The sprigs are placed in the bare ends and covered with a light topdressing then well watered. The topdressing, and most of the club's machines, are imported from Australia. "Because the wickets can come back into play fairly quickly after the renovation programme, the square was relatively small in size compared with our squares. "Kristen highlighted how the club members had high expectations - not only the cricketing members but also the members of the football and rugby sections that use the outfield, too. Cricket is played most of the year and rugby, football and hockey are all played in season. Very often there is football played on the outfield one day then a cricket match the next. This gives Rashid and his five staff members plenty to do – likewise when ICC matches are played at the ground. The Singapore Cricket Association has its own ground not far away but it uses the Singapore CC ground for tournaments, though the only problem is that the boundaries towards mid-wicket are slightly short: the club recently had to deal with a very angry taxi driver who had his car hit by a well-struck six!

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