I trust that you have enjoyed your current season and with the final games about to be played I want to answer a question that I’m constantly asked “Why don’t our juniors play on our Turf wickets”.
Well let me state this. Queensland Cricket and Cricket Australia advises that junior cricketers need to learn the game on hard flat surfaces that promote even bounce in order that they can develop stroke play (synthetic wickets). We support this notion and I can’t honestly support the idea of a 13 year old developing their cricket on a wicket that may have been rolled on the Friday before the game; and maybe the same wicket that has had a number of games played on it week in week out. This is the case at most other clubs that use lower grade turf wickets. Turf wickets react to the amount of water they have had applied to them in the lead up to a fixture. They react to how much even rolling they receive during the week (they need at least 12 hours!). The bounce will vary if the moisture is not retained in the wicket evenly and, frankly, all this is not good for junior development as most clubs don’t have the resources to produce quality wickets.
The other issue with Turf wickets is rain; and let’s face it we get plenty of it. Most groundsman will cancel the junior game if the wicket is threatened by the weather however a synthetic maybe playable after a short delay. Our objective at Caboolture is to provide our juniors with as many games as the draw allows.
There are two divisions to our club – junior and senior. Our seniors pay annual fees of $420-$500 depending on their grade and they demand an unused wicket every home game. Nothing infuriates them more than to play away from home and find the juniors have used the ground first and that the wicket is wet because an overzealous coach decided to play on through rain instead of covering, or the creases aren’t marked because of a previous junior fixture or the wicket is damaged and they have to face deliveries from fast bowlers on what is now a dangerous surface.
At this club we always create opportunities for young players to play in the senior teams when we think they are ready and nothing has changed as quite a few of the 14A have been used this season in our 3rd and 4th grades and they get to play on freshly prepared turf wickets.
Together with our club coaches and the Fundamentals program delivered by Terry Oliver, your child will develop stroke play and bowling techniques and will transfer their skills onto turf wicket surfaces when the time is right. We have been developing juniors with a great deal of success for over 90 years at Caboolture. Please keep the players positive and I can assure you the cream will always rise to the top. Good luck this weekend and enjoy your cricket.