, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 1-14

The playing performance of county cricket pitches

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Abstract

The surface on to which a bowler projects a ball in the game of cricket is made up of hard packed soil with sparse grass cover. This natural turf pitch is of fundamental importance to the play of the game and the quality of the surface is a prime concern of players, officials, commentators and spectators alike. A programme of research has been undertaken to identify the factors that lead to the construction of high quality cricket pitches. This work employed the technology of highspeed video analysis to monitor the performance of first class cricket pitches during county matches. A system for measuring the impact of a cricket ball on a pitch was developed, and over 3000 ball impacts analysed. This analysis enabled pitches to be characterized in terms of pace, bounce and consistency. Soil properties for the monitored pitches were identified and correlations were drawn between pitch performance and soil composition.