Cricket pitch rollers
Being the ‘home’ of cricket it is appropriate that South Africa’s only locally manufactured Cricket Pitch Roller was developed in the Eastern Cape in 1991. Sanctions forced local engineers to look into creating a roller custom made for South African pitches. The first one was commissioned in early 1992.
In October 1992 Mr Les Burdett, the well known Groundsman who was brought out to South Africa by the South African Cricket board inspected the roller in Grahamstown and in his report to SA Cricket he wrote:
“To achieve maximum capacity and bounce a heavy roller of no less than two ton must be used together with correct preparation techniques. Such a roller is made in Grahamstown at a local engineering company.”
What had particularly impressed Mr Burdett was that the roller’s weight could be alternated between 1.2 and 2.4 tonnes by simply draining or filling the rollers with water.
On December 18th 1992 the Daily Dispatch of East London displayed a colour photograph of the roller preparing the pitch at Buffalo Park for the one day international between India and South Africa. The Cape Times on the 22nd of December reported Mr Owen Smith as saying:
“The pitch for the Buffalo Park encounter was one of the best produced for the entire night series – being very hard and allowing for the ball to come to the bat. As a result it produced cricket of a high quality.”
Our Rollers have been supplied to the Wanderers Cricket grounds, St Georges Park, Newlands, smaller clubs like Hamilton’s as well as Universities and schools throughout the country.
For in depth technical information on the rolling of cricket pitches and the importance of using the correct machinery for perfect pitches the following research is of interest:
– By Peter Shipton and Dr. IainJones. Published in 2009 by the Centre for Sports Surface technology, Cranford University.