Covers Instructions:

1. Start at end A,B and fold all the way to end C,D

2. Repeat this fold five times (until you have a narrow strip as pictured below)

3. Start at one end and roll the cover up tight like a sleeping bag

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Artificial Pitch Construction

Artificial Pitch Construction

A majority of junior cricket in Hamilton, as well as a sizable amount of early-season and lower grade senior cricket, is played on artificial wickets, and almost all practice wickets are artificial too. There are a number of reasons for this: not least the ability to minimize time lost through poor weather, the chance to play earlier in the season when grass blocks are still being curated, and providing a more easily maintained surface with consistent play and bounce.

Turf wickets require huge amounts of labour, skill and resources that are beyond most clubs and schools, and even local council, to provide more regularly than is currently done. Artificial wickets provide an efficient answer to this issue, and remove the issue of players losing interest in the game with dangerous or poorly prepared turf wickets.

The first section of this page deals with concrete base-wickets with permanent artificial turf. Roll-up wickets are also discussed below.

Selection of site

Where you choose to put your artificial wicket is very important.

The Auckland Cricket Association & New Zealand Sports Turf Institute's guide for groundspersons and cricket administrators lists the following:

The best overall area is running preferably North-South to avoid sun problems. Good drainage is essential so avoid depressions on areas subject to "waterlogging". The area should be reasonably level with no more than 150mm fall in length and 20mm in width.
When a concrete base is being laid the fall requirements should be more stringently kept. Concrete should be laid higher than the outfield to allow for a natural build over the life of the concrete. Soil from the excavation to be used for the leveling with the two surfaces. This also helps to keep a dry area around the wicket.

It's also worth taking into account the size of the area around your wicket: being laid too close to hazards, especially roads, has rendered artificial wickets nearly unusable in the past.

Once you've taken drainage, ground level, sun, and hazards such as roads, footpaths, buildings or reflective surfaces into account, the next stage is laying the concrete base.

Concrete Bases

Concrete bases are preferable where possible. The ACA & NZSTI guide notes that Care should be taken to ensure excavation for the pitch is done properly. Levels should be checked to ensure water drains away and ground surface is compatible to wicket levels. Excavate only to desired depth to ensure a firm base is maintained.

The following are the ACA & NZSTI recommended specifications for concrete bases; though it's worth noting that most suppliers will generally supply their own recommendations, which will follow the below.

  • 50mm of compacted sand, scoria or other similar material as a sub-base
  • Polythene sheeting between sub-base and concrete is a must
  • 100mm thick concrete slightly above outfield soil
  • Minimum size 24.9x2.64 meters
  • Crossfall of 12mm
  • 20MPa concrete
  • 668 mesh reinforcing
  • Mesh should be curtailed 50mm from the ends and sides
  • Expansion concrete poured in two bays with 10mm expansion joint at pitch center
  • Steel trowel to finish
  • At least three weeks curing time should be allowed before gluing to surface

Dimensions: remember that this will vary depending on whether it is a single pitch for match use, or multiple wickets for practice sessions. The width of a wicket is recommended at 2.64m by the ACA & NZSTI guide (which is the width of the bowling crease), however the Laws of Cricket stipulate that it should be 3.05m wide. This allows for room outside of the return creases.

The length of a pitch is 20.12 meters, however this should be extended to at least 24.9m to ensure a reasonable length beyond the bowling crease at each end. If desired, up to 30m is practicable.

For practice nets, the width of each pitch should be at least 3.3m wide to ensure that enough space is provided for netting, steel frame and bowlers. Length can be shorter than a full pitch, as matting can be laid for the bowler's end.

Consideration needs to be given to a location hole for the stumps, assuming the pitch will be used for match play. The centre of the two holes should be 20.12m apart (i.e. the length of a pitch) and should be 120mm in length and 250mm in width.

The ACA & NZSTI guide also gives the following suggestion. Another consideration is for the concrete pad up to one foot (0.3m) past the popping creases to be recessed 8mm to accommodate an 8mm heavy crumb rubber run-up mat. In this case, the concrete outside the central 56ft or 17.07m of pitch is recessed by 8mm and filled with an 8mm rubber mat. This should be seriously considered for adult or heavy use. This is costly but should be considered if the wicket is used for practice sessions.

Artificial turf

Synthetic surfaces are regarded as the most suitable surface for concrete. Research should be done for this, as different types of turf are available, some giving more help to bowlers than others, and some are more heavy duty.

Contacts are provided below for synthetic turf providers.

Roll-up wickets can be laid on concrete bases, which does have some advantages (namely reducing the risk of vandalism) but is also more time and labour intensive to use. Flicx pitches can also be used on grass; this is a low-maintenance and easy set-up solution, as no concrete base has to be laid, and the pitch simply has to be rolled out and played on. Contacts for the New Zealand Flicx provider are below.

Bowler run-ups

Run-ups are often troublesome, as they are often more subject to weather than artificial wickets, face a lot of wear-and-tear, and can be the cause of many injury issues among bowlers.

Matta Products have developed a matting product which provides a more consistent run-up area, uses a non-slip surface and is "maintenance-free". This allows bowlers to have more confidence in their run-up and delivery, creating a more realistic match-like scenario for practice sessions.

Matting must be installed over a stabilized compacted base, with the Cricket Mattas brochure recommending limestone or crushed rock. For more information about this, use the Matta contacts below.

Relevant Companies

Tiger Turf, 0800 804 134



Matta Products, 0800 MATTAS (628 827)


FLICX, 021 0298 0498


Perennial,, 03 3666 107


Terraform Earthworks

Facebook, 0274 551 770

Hamilton Handimen

07 843 4375

Funding Agencies