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Cricket camps: Keeping the wickets safe

Near 1500 children from across New Zealand have spent much of January playing cricket in Hawke’s Bay at the annual Hawke’s Bay Cricket Camps.

This year 135 teams from as far a-field as Auckland, Whakatane, New Plymouth and Wellington have played on wickets across the region including five in Hastings: Anderson, Windsor, Flaxmere, Cornwall and Frimley Parks.

With the players come an estimated 3500 friends and family, all staying in Hawke’s Bay, adding an estimated $5 million to the local economy.  

While the camps bring an economic boost to the region, they also put a strain on the cricket grounds – particularly the grass wickets in Anderson, Cornwall and Frimley. Windsor and Flaxmere have artificial grass wickets.

“After the pounding they have had, we do need to do remedial work or our local games will not be able to go ahead for safety reasons. Unfortunately the work includes deep watering of the batting blocks – which is just the part the batters play on; not the outfields,” said assets manager Craig Thew.

In order to not impact on the water pumping issue being experienced in Hastings the watering at the three parks will be carefully scheduled between 2am and 4am for four nights from this Thursday [January 26], and then every second night during the cricket season.

The watering of the wickets is tightly confined to the wickets using effective “pop up” irrigation, Mr Thew said.

“We want people to be assured that this is a responsible use of water that ensures public assets are kept in a usable condition, and ensures the safety of the hundreds of cricket players who use the facilities each week. The alternative would be to cancel all cricket.”

4 October 2017

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