Plastic pitches set to be used in England’s domestic T20 season
ECB has already carried out tests to be prepared for the usage of the new surfaces.
Updated - Apr 26, 2019 11:23 am
With the upcoming World Cup likely to take a toll on grounds, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is all set for the worst case scenario. The cricket board is now prepared to use plastic pitches when the domestic T20 competition gets underway. ECB’s domestic circuit is yet to get a taste of artificial pitches. However, it may change soon this summer after the conclusion of the World Cup that will last for a month-and-a-half.
The World Cup will start on May 30 with hosts England taking on South Africa in the tournament opener. The ten-team competition will end on July 14 with the final at the iconic Lord’s. This will be the fifth time England will be the hosting the ICC mega event and the first time since 1999. And following the conclusion of the tournament, England’s cricket could see the unprecedented use of plastic pitches.
ECB’s cricket committee had already sanctioned the plastic pitches in 2019. As per the given permission, the pitches can be woven with up to five per cent of a soft polyethene yarn in order to be used for the domestic one-day and T20 games. The rule also states that a club must inform the ECB and the opposition before laying down the plastic surface. According to reports in Daily Mail, the ongoing one-day games are unlikely to witness the artificial pitch but there are big chances of it during the T20 games.
Tests carried out
Meanwhile, ECB has already carried out tests to be prepared for the usage of the new surfaces. In July this year, the board carried out tests using Hawkeye technology to assess how such surfaces react to fast bowling and its effect on the ball’s seam. The results were reportedly positive. A report in the news outlet claimed that the plastic surfaces favour the batsmen more and are more or less ideal for the limited-overs game. However, they are not suited for first-class cricket since they do not deteriorate quickly.