Dharamsala HPCA Stadium gets India's first-ever 'hybrid pitch'

The hybrid pitch combines natural turf with synthetic fibres

Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium [FILE] Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in Dharamsala | AFP

India's first-ever 'hybrid pitch' was unveiled at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) Stadium in a grand ceremony on Monday.

The event was attended by IPL Chairman Arun Dhumal and cricket dignitaries including Paul Taylor, a former England cricketer and SIS's international cricket director.

"The introduction of hybrid pitches is set to revolutionize cricket in India, following their success in iconic venues like Lord's and The Oval in England," said Dhumal, who hails from Himachal Pradesh.

The hybrid pitch, which combines natural turf with synthetic fibres, promises enhanced durability and consistent playability, reducing the strain on ground staff and maintaining quality playing conditions.

With only 5% synthetic fibres, the pitch ensures that the natural characteristics essential for cricket are preserved.

Taylor expressed gratitude towards the HPCA for their collaboration on this pioneering project.

"With the ICC's approval, we're excited to see the positive impact these pitches will have on the sport, starting with installations in Mumbai and Ahmedabad next," he said.

The 'Universal Machine', a critical component in installing the hybrid surface, was developed by SISGrass in 2017 and has been instrumental in the rollout of similar pitches across England's county cricket grounds.

This innovation aligns with the ICC's recent sanctioning of hybrid pitches for T20 and one-day international matches, with plans to expand their use in four-day county championships starting this year.

The integration of technologies like SISAir, a root aeration system, further underscores the commitment to enhancing cricket infrastructure in India. This system improves the pitch's health and resilience, benefiting players with better and safer playing conditions. 


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