St Paul’s has best cricket pitch in NZ

Hamilton News - - Front Page -

St Paul’s Col­le­giate School’s cricket pitch — Way’s Oval — has been named club/school pitch of the year by New Zealand Cricket.

It is the first time this award has been pre­sented at a national level.

The news came from Ian Mck­endry, NZC’S GM Grounds and Fa­cil­i­ties, who says it is tes­ta­ment to the hard work of grounds­man Ian Boyle and the team at St Paul’s over the 2017-18 sea­son.

“This in­au­gu­ral award has been pre­sented to St Paul’s as a reflection of the in­vest­ment and work done to pro­duce an out­stand­ing ground. It is based on the pos­i­tive feed­back re­ceived from the North­ern Dis­tricts and Hamil­ton cricket as­so­ci­a­tions who have played there over the course of the sea­son,” says Mr Mck­endry.

NZC se­lects its pitch of the year awards for in­ter­na­tional, do­mes­tic and club/school based on in­for­ma­tion and data col­lated from player sur­veys, match re­ports and ICC re­ports.

“The awards recog­nise the out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tion from the turf man­age­ment teams re­spon­si­ble for the prepa­ra­tion of cricket sur­faces across all New Zealand venues,” says Mr Mck­endry.

“The qual­ity of cricket sur­faces is an im­por­tant part of the devel­op­ment and en­joy­ment of our play­ers at all lev­els — from the com­mu­nity game through to the high per­for­mance path­ways of do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional women’s and men’s com­pe­ti­tions,” he says.

For Mr Boyle, who has been the cricket grounds­man at St Paul’s for eight years, the award came as a com­plete sur­prise.

“It was an un­ex­pected yet pleas­ant sur­prise. A lot of work went into pre­par­ing the pitch for the re­cent sea­son. Last year we dug it up to breathe new life into it and that cer­tainly seems to have helped the qual­ity of the grass wicket,” he says.

The do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional pitches of the year were named: Basin Re­serve (do­mes­tic short form cricket pitch), Eden Park No 2 (do­mes­tic long form cricket pitch), Ha­gley Oval (in­ter­na­tional long form cricket pitch) and Bay Oval (in­ter­na­tional short form cricket pitch).

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