Cricket Ground Equipment Buyers' Guide

CRICKET GROUND EQUIPMENT: WHAT'S REQUIRED?

Cricket clubs need the necessary cricket ground equipment just like individual players need the correct cricket attire and playing equipment. Typically, cricket ground equipment comprises of cricket scoreboards, scorebooks, bowling machines, artificial pitches, cricket practice nets, stumps and catching drill accessories.

CRICKET GROUND COACHING AIDS

BOWLING MACHINES: Bowling machines are ideal for ironing out the weaknesses of batsmen. The machine generates power to release the ball on a consistent line and length from a suitable height so that you can groove a particular shot. For a worthwhile cricket net you should have at least five players, but with a bowling machine you only need one man feeding and the other batting. Cricket bowling machines have specialist bowling machine balls and can be set at various bowling speeds, typically ranging from 15-95mph. Top-end bowling machines may come with a wide variety of spin and swing options to further maximise player development, while an automatic feeder can also be purchased. You will also have to factor in the price of a bowling machine battery/power pack. Bola is perhaps the most illustrious of bowling machine manufacturers.

CRICKET TRAINING/COACHING PITCHES: Many artificial turfs are available on the market to use for junior cricket, lower league/friendly cricket and cricket training, and can be used as a coaching tool. Some cricket coaching mats and pitches aid shot selection, others allow a more consistent bounce when placed over grass nets, while most are suitable for both soft and hard ball cricket. Some village cricket clubs still opt for an artificial turf for matches as it requires very little upkeep compared to a usual grass cricket square.

CRICKET NETS: A cricket net has become a common feature at cricket grounds across the world as they provide a great cricket training facility, mocking most aspects of match-day play like the one-on-one duel between batsman and bowler. As the cricket nets stop most shots other than straight drives, they promote health and safety – although strict safety precautions should still be taken, especially when there are multiple nets adjacent to one another. Some cricket nets come with a roof and are supported by various structures, depending on whether the nets are portable or fixed. The strongest cricket nets will be fixed into a given location on your cricket ground, supported by thick metal poles, although many opt for a portable net/batting cage so they can drag it onto a pitch for even greater match-like practice. Cable ties will be used to fix the netting to the metal framework.

CRICKET TRAINING AIDS: There are many cricket training aids out there to help you develop your game. These include: streamline cricket training bats to train your hand-eye co-ordination, great value fielding and slip-catching cricket bats, pop-up cricket nets to develop your catching without the need for other teammates, side-arm cricket ball throwers to preserve your shoulder during throw-downs, slip cradles and baseball-style cricket catching mitts. As well as a wealth of cricket coaching equipment, there is also a lot of cricket fitness equipment available, such as training ladders and hurdles. Crazy catch nets are a great way to practice your throwing and catching, either on your own or in a small group.

MATCH-DAY CRICKET EQUIPMENT

You will require a boundary rope or boundary flags as well as two sets of stumps with bails (we also recommend owning a spare set and having more than one spare pair of bails, as these are prone to breaking and are easy to misplace). Fielding target stumps, flexi/spring-back stumps, practice cricket stumps and match-standard stumps are all available on the market. Scoreboards come in various qualities, ranging from lightweight, portable scoreboards with flipping numbers to deluxe electric scoreboards that can be fixed onto a pavilion wall and controlled remotely from the comfort of your pavilion. Many clubs, however, have a scoreboard hut that is manually controlled. Junior scorebooks are available and regular scorebooks include a varying amount of innings (typically 100). Your umpire(s) will also require an umpire coat and umpire ball counter.