Dharamshala cricket stadium gets India’s first ‘hybrid pitch’ - Hindustan Times
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Dharamshala cricket stadium gets India’s first ‘hybrid pitch’

By, Dharamshala
May 07, 2024 09:58 AM IST

While they are currently being used for practice only, the development remains the first time a venue in the country has installed hybrid pitches

India’s first-ever “hybrid pitch” was on Monday unveiled at the picturesque Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) stadium in Dharamshala, marking a significant milestone for the sport in the country.

Dharamshala cricket stadium during an IPL match. (HT Photo)
Dharamshala cricket stadium during an IPL match. (HT Photo)

The introduction of the SISGrass hybrid pitch is expected to lift the quality of the sport played on Indian pitches.

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SISGrass designs, constructs and supplies hybrid and synthetic cricket match pitches and practise net areas for a wide variety of organisations, including international cricket venues, local cricket clubs, schools, and universities. It also offers comprehensive aftercare and maintenance services.

While they are currently being used for practice only, the development remains the first time a venue in the country has installed hybrid pitches. Already successful at Lord’s and The Oval, SISGrass Hybrid Pitches is now set to revolutionise cricket in India.

Indian Premier League (IPL) chairperson Arun Dhumal, former England international cricketer Paul Taylor and SIS’s International Cricket Director along with HPCA officials were present on the occasion.

Arun Dhumal, said, “This remarkable development showcases the progressive spirit that is driving Indian cricket forward. By adopting innovative solutions like the ICC-approved hybrid pitches, we are not just ensuring a sustainable future for the sport, but also building another avenue for growth.”

Dhumal said HPCA’s relentless commitment to advancements like introducing SISGrass Hybrid Pitches, LED Flood Lights, and the SIS Air System demonstrates their leadership in creating a world-class cricketing infrastructure.

“Adopting these latest innovations will ensure Indian cricket can seal its position as a global sporting powerhouse, while also setting a template for other countries to follow,” he said.

More resilient, will prolong life of pitches

The ‘Universal Machine’, used in Dharamshala to install the hybrid surface, was first developed by SISGrass in 2017. It injects a small percentage of polymer fibre with the natural turf inside cricket stadiums and pitches. The composition is more resilient to stresses created during play, helps to prolong the life of pitches, guarantees an even bounce, and eases pressure on busy groundskeepers. The completed installations are still predominantly natural grass, with only 5% polymer fibre used. This ensures that the characteristics of an all-natural pitch are maintained.

Paul Taylor, SIS’s international cricket director, said, “We are pleased to announce the successful installation and implementation of hybrid cricket pitches at the iconic Dharamshala Stadium. As a BCCI approved initiative, this encourages us to set the stage for further explorations of hybrid pitches in Mumbai and Ahmedabad.”

SISGrass has invested in India after the International Cricket Council (ICC) allowed the use of hybrid surfaces for T20 and 50-over competitions. Following the successful installation across English cricket grounds, hybrid pitches, approved for T20 and 50-over competitions, will be used for four-day County Championship matches beginning this year.

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