Wherever the soldiers and gentlemen of the British empire found themselves governing and controlling the game of cricket flourished. It was the perfect time for those who were stationed far from home – it required very little in the way of equipment and provided both entertainment and a tangible connection to their homeland.
However, soon these foreign cricket pitches began to mirror those that were found in Great Britain and more formal cricket grounds began to spring up in countries as far from the British Isles as India and The West Indies.
An intrinsic part of the facilities was the pitch itself. Meticulously maintained these cricket pitches had to be in perfect condition to allow teams and spectators to enjoy what would rapidly become one of the most popular sport in countries that had once made up the British Empire.
Today the science of caring for cricket pitches has reached its peak with the introduction of a wide variety of different types of cricket pitch covers. Cricket pitch cover manufacturers now provide ground keeping staff with a variety of products that have been specially developed to keep cricket pitches in tip top condition even in the face of adverse weather conditions and harsh use.
There are a variety of different types of cricket pitch covers that are today commercially available and these include variants such as the following:
#1 Standard PVC Covers.
The standard PVC cricket pitch cover is today manufactured from highly durable synthetic material. These covers are specifically manufactured to protect the pitch from adverse weather conditions such as hard rain. These types of cricket pitch covers are usually fitted with handles which will allow ground staff to quickly cover the pitch when adverse weather conditions are affecting play. The handles allow the covers to be moved over the pitch and removed extremely quickly in order to ensure that the game can continue quickly once the weather has cleared. These covers are easy to roll up and store and will typically last anywhere up to 6 years with proper care. These types of covers are widely used by schools and professional venues across the world.
#2 Mobile Domes Cricket Pitch Covers.
A variant of the standard cricket pitch cover is the mobile cover. This is also usually manufactured using PVC or similar synthetic material. The mobile cricket pitch cover is usually shaped like a dome and can be quickly moved into place due to the wheels that are attached at the bottom of the dome structure. Mobile cricket domes have a number of wheels (usually four) with two of the wheels attached by a swivel mechanism in order to allow the mobile cricket dome cover to be steered onto and off the field.
The major advantage of the mobile dome cover is that groundkeepers can use it to control the amount of sunlight that reaches the grass on the pitch – without affecting the growth of the grass. This will in turn allow the groundkeepers to control the hardness of the pitch and this will in turn affect the action of the ball off the pitch. The mobile domes can also be used as protection against harsh weather conditions such as direct sunlight which can kill the grass, as well as being useful to protect the pitch during the game when heavy rain can affect play.
#3 Climate Control Pitch Covers.
The domed cricket pitch cover has a number of variants with more advanced features. Some of the variants will allow ground keeping staff to control humidity and temperature under the dome which allows them to in turn control the growth of the grass on the pitch. These specialized cricket pitch covers also allow groundskeepers to protect the grass on the pitch from the effects of frost which could other wise kill the grass.
#4 Inflatable Cricket Pitch Covers.
These cricket pitch covers have been designed with inflatable cells or tubes that when inflated reduce the weight of the cover, as well as making it easier to handle. There are also 'hybrid' inflatable covers that allow up to 60% of UV rays to reach the grass on the pitch. This allows the pitch to remain warm and stimulated the growth of the grass while still protecting it from adverse weather conditions. The highly advanced materials used for the manufacture of these types of covers and the time that they take to inflate may make them significantly more expensive than standard covers. They also take longer to set up and are therefore used mostly during period when no cricket is being played. They can also be deflated for easy storage.
#5 Germination Covers / Sheets.
There are also a number of cricket pitch covers that have been designed by cricket pitch cover manufacturers specifically to allow for the fast germination of grass seeds on cricket pitches. These covers are not as hard wearing as the standard PVC cricket pitch covers, but they are extremely useful for ground keeping staff when it comes time to replace old and work grass cover. These covers are porous, allowing both sunlight and rainwater to reach the germinating seedlings.
Cricket pitch cover manufacturers are continuall refining the science of cricket pitch cover manufacture. New space age materials are today under development that will ensure that pitches are protected during the game itself and are also prepared to meet the increasingly exacting standards of sporting bodies and players at the top ranks of this exciting global game.