* End of Season Maintenance

Although many clubs will have played little cricket this season, end of season maintenance of your ground and facilities are still essential with a view to being ready for next season.

On the square thatch will still accrue at the surface and therefore if nothing else is practical or financially possible this is the one operation that should be undertaken in the autumn.

If finances permit, over seeding with a suitable dwarf rye grass mix and the application of an autumn/winter fine turf fertilizer containing some iron would be advantageous, if possible brushed into the grooves left after scarification.

Top dressing is expensive and is not an operation that has to take place every year so if clubs cannot afford the materials leave it till autumn next year.

The application of top dressing without a thorough scarification of the square to clean the surface is a waste of finances and resource as well as ultimately damaging the playing characteristics of future pitches.  Top dressing should always be fit for purpose and compatible with the base loam

During the winter check the squares for damage by pests and disease and keep the grass “topped” at a height of 20mm to 25mm using a rotary mower with a sharp blade, and a rear roller if possible.

This done, clubs should be ready for the spring and pre-season preparation including rolling.

Do not overlook the outfields in the winter: again check for damage by birds and pests and make any repairs necessary.

Hampshire Cricket Board Buying Group 2020 prices have been finalised: please click on the button below for the products list and order form.

Chris Westbrook, County Pitch Advisor

* Nat West Cricket Force 2020

Registration has re-opened and clubs who registered back in the spring and now will receive a full set of PPE (personal protective equipment):

  • 25 x 200ml bottles of hand sanitiser
  • 4 x 750ml bottles of disinfectant
  • 4 packs of 50 facemasks
  • 100 wipes
  • 2 packs of 4 sets of gloves

Coronavirus and Grounds Maintenance in the Recreational Game: 25.03.2020

Professor Nick Pierce, ECB Chief Medical Officer:

"As of 23 March 2020, the Government introduced increasingly stringent social distancing in a further attempt to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus and the potential impact on vulnerable individuals. It is essential that this advice is adhered to in relation to the health and wellbeing of all individuals.

As a result of the Government’s announcements, a number of businesses across the United Kingdom have introduced home working for all staff. There will also be a delay to all regular cricket participation and a delay to the regular season.

The latest government guidance means that ground staff/facilities maintenance falls under:

‘Travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home, provided you are well and neither you nor any of your household are self-isolating.’

Should you decide that essential grounds care needs to continue to look after your facilities during this period of social isolation, you must do so in line with current Government’s latest guidance. This includes keeping ground staff to minimum numbers, preferably no more than two, that any visits are carefully staggered and particular heightened attention is made to evidence that surfaces carry significant and prolonged risk of contamination. The use of regular shared indoor facilities such as rest rooms, kitchens and changing rooms should be avoided where possible.

The advice below sets out undertakings that that you must instigate to minimise the risks of the spread of the virus including only using essential facilities.

This advice is given taking in to account the latest government advice (as of 25th March). However, the situation is changing very rapidly and may change at short notice. Therefore, please follow the latest government advice."

Back to Play:  Beyond the season of no sport - a report by The GMA (Grounds Management Association)

"If we improved existing grass pitches 489,589 more (children) could play cricket every season."  Please click here to read the paper by the GMA (formerly the Institute of Groundsmanship) in full, and here for more information.

Managing Vacant Buildings and Operating Safely – A Guide for Recreational Cricket Clubs

ECB has prepared guidance on the management of health and safety for vacant or low occupancy buildings or spaces at recreational grounds.  Please click here to access the guide.

It highlights key considerations and actions to help prevent infection and transmission of COVID-19.  It is aimed at all clubs, venue providers, facilities managers, and others responsible for managing these areas at grounds and venues.

Future updates to follow will include information on bringing these spaces into use as government advice changes.  If you have any questions, please contact ECB at enquiries@ecb.co.uk.


Guidance for managing temporarily closed or permanently unoccupied properties

"We are aware that during this period, buildings, pitches and sports clubs, whether temporarily closed or permanently unoccupied can be at greater risk from the likes of arson, antisocial behaviour such as vandalism or squatters, theft, and escape of water. ECB-appointed broker for recreational cricket, Howden have provided advice and solutions to manage this increased risk including advice on:

  • Protection against electrical fires.
  • Protection against escape of water losses.
  • Waste and combustible material management.
  • Letterbox protection

Please click here for further advice on these areas or visit Howden’s dedicated COVID-19 information hub here.

Remember, your property insurer may have specific guidance you need to follow, so Howden recommend you check with them to ensure you are appropriately covered. Howden are here to support you in any way we can, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch with them here."

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2021 Second XI Fixtures Announced

Following the cancellation of all Second XI fixtures in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, a full Second XI schedule will be played this summer