Not many people realise the amount of time and effort that goes into preparing a cricket ground at the end of each season, ready for the new one.
In fact, work begins on the field the very next day after the last action of the season has been played in September, and continues throughout winter, right up to just before the seasons begins once again.
First, a heavy duty scarifier works its magic on the grass, digging up the cricket square in different directions to keep an even level, get rid of organic matter and prepare the ground for a new seed bed.
Once that is complete, the square is then brushed and completely flooded ready for reseeding and top-dressing. That is when the cricket square starts to get that perfectly flat, earthy appearance.
Then the square is quickly put to bed for winter. Once the grass has germinated, it is monitored, drained and cut regularly up until the start of the playing season.
It is important to ensure that the ground can drain well, as floods and water-logging are common in between seasons. This involves deep spiking of surface, (our aerators are perfect for this!) going down as far as eight or nine inches, to help air and water move freely within the ground.
With uncertain weather conditions, cricket pitch groundsman are always keen to get the initial work done as quickly as possible, so that the aftermath of any bad weather or flooding can soon be dealt with effectively to ensure matches can go ahead in the new season.