Bowl over lawns
AS WE approach summer and the cricket season, it is time to get the backyard ready for family and friends to enjoy a little healthy (sporting) competition.
Legendary pitch maker Les Burdett was head curator at the Adelaide Oval for four decades.
He says that with a little work you can get your backyard cricket pitch ready.
“You don’t need to be a turf or cricket expert, or have a specific type of lawn to create a great pitch,’’ he says.
“The only tools you need are probably already lying around the house – a lawnmower, spray can of grass- friendly acrylic paint and a garbage bin or Esky.
“Taking the time to create a simple pitch will pay off in countless hours of entertainment and fun especially come summer and holiday.
“I’ve been privileged enough to travel the world making turf cricket pitches, but nothing is quite like a good old game of backyard cricket.”
Burdett has teamed up with Turf Australia to help homeowners transform their own backyard turf into a first class cricket pitch.
Here are Burdett’s steps to create a backyard pitch:
Select the best open space in your yard and give it a good water. Every space will have characteristics that give your game its own personal character, whether it’s a shed or an established tree.
Mark out your pitch and mow the grass low. Use string lines to create a straight pitch and a cylinder mower if possible, as it will provide a light roll. If the grass is thatchy, lower your mower’s cutting height and repeat to remove more grass.
Mark the batting and bowling crease on the grass with either a grass-friendly spray can or create your own appropriate paint by watering down white water-based acrylic paint with two parts water, one part paint. Paint onto grass with a 25-50mm brush.