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Analyze A Cricket Pitch
Before the start of every match, a fair amount of time is spent on studying and analyzing the pitch. Based on the pitch, the team that has won the toss decides whether to ball or bat first. What is it that decides the nature of the pitch? what is it that that the pitch is made of?
Laying a fertile 22 yards cricket pitch is a complex process. Here is how a pitch is prepared and the reasons why some of them behave the way they do.

How A Pitch Is Made
The preparation of a pitch begins with digging up a pit approximately a foot and half deep. The pit is then filled with four layers that consists of different materials and is then covered with a layer of grass.

Bottom Layer
The bottom layer is filled with bits of stone, each about an inch. This later is about 4 inches thick.

Brick Layer
A four-inch layer of broken bricks is spread over the stone level.

Sand Layer
The third layer consists of sand and is about two inches thick.

Soil Layer
The second layer usually consists of red earth or murum. In most cases, it is 70% red earth and 30% murum. Murum is commonly used in India. It gives hardness to the wicket.

The Top Layer
This layer usually consists of red earth that helps bounce and also turn after three days of play. Sometimes, in the absence of availability of Red earth, this layer is made of Black clay, which doesn't offer any bounce.

Grass
Nowadays a type of grass called Bermuda Grass is used on the pitch. This grass grows fast and takes only 20-25 days to grow back after a match. Soma local grounds use Duruva grass, which takes longer to grow.

Factors affecting a pitch
Humidity and other climatic conditions affect a pitch the most. That is why the track behaviour varies from place to place. For instance the Wankhade Stadium in India help seam and swing. The pitches located in arid states are full of runs or support spins. In Mumbai, the ball gets laterl movement because of the moisture in the air.

When is a pitch laid
The best time to start preparing a new track is about three months before the monsoons. Once the various procedures involved in building a track are completed, the pitch should be exposed to rain as rainwater is good for the grass. After the monsoons, the grass grows. But there is also a lot of weed, which needs to be taken off. A pitch should be re-laid every three years as the soil dies after prolonged use.
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Posted on : 19/1/2006
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