ECB lays hybrid turf at Loughborough performance centre

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has taken inspiration from Premier League football clubs and installed hybrid turf at its National Cricket Performance Centre in Loughborough.

Turf manufacturer SIS Pitches has laid two surfaces at the centre made from 95 per cent natural grass and 5 per cent twisted yarn.

Chris Wood, the ECB’s pitch consultant, said the idea to install the turf was prompted by a conversation with Tottenham Hotspur head groundsman Darren Baldwin.

“The majority of Premier League venues now use hybrid pitches, and even to the casual observer of football, I think it’s obvious that those pitches have been of far more consistently high quality, around all clubs and throughout the seasons,” he added.

Wood said that while there had been “semi-hybrid” pitches widely used in cricket – with loam infill – the natural grass hybrid option allowed for “increased durability” combined with the “uniformity of grass cover”.

SIS Pitches has won a number of high-profile contracts in football, and is laying the turf at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium in time for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

First published, written by Matthew Campelli 22 June 2017