Bowl over lawns

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - TRADES & SERVICES - Janita Singh

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.

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