JSCA attempts to develop a rich mix of pitch types

Black soil from Odisha and Bihar have been mixed with the local red soil; 11 strips of seven varieties have been laid.

JSCA curator S. B. Singh talks about the new practice pitches in Ranchi. Photo: Y. B. Sarangi

Inspired by M. S. Dhoni’s advice to develop red clay practice pitches at the Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) Stadium, the association has experimented on laying various types of tracks at the stadium complex here.

JSCA curator S. B. Singh, who has been overseeing the preparation of these pitches on the smaller practice ground inside the stadium complex for the last eight months, is delighted that the process is nearing completion. “Since Jharkhand players had some issues on red clay pitches on tours to southern States, Dhoni had suggested that we should prepare such tracks for practice ahead of crucial matches. When we finally decided for it, we thought why not do some experiments,” said Singh.

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The JSCA brought black soil from Bolangir (Odisha) and Mokama Tal (Bihar) and mixed it with the local red soil to do the experiment.

'Grass growing well'

Singh and his colleagues laid 11 strips of seven varieties. “We mixed Bolangir and Mokama soil with the red one at 60:40 ratio to see how these pitches behave. Also, we laid tracks of black soil from Odisha, Bihar and Jharkhand apart from one of yellow soil. The grass is growing well and it’s a good indication.”

The final outcome will be known when players practise on these surfaces sooner than later. “Dhoni will break a coconut and inaugurate the red clay pitch in the company of some age-group cricketers in about a week or so. These facilities will help all players as they will learn how to play on different surfaces,” said Singh.