HPCA installs India's first-ever hybrid pitch for training at Dharamshala stadium

HPCA installs India's first-ever hybrid pitch for training at Dharamshala stadium
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Dharamshala, April 15: With their international cricket stadium here set to host two Indian Premier League matches, the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) is set to introduce SISGrass Hybrid Pitch Technology into their practice facilities. This move will ensure that the practice pitches are of top-notch quality, as traditional surfaces cannot withstand rigorous training schedules and tend to deteriorate quickly, limiting valuable practice opportunities for players.

Based in the Netherlands, SISGrass, part of the SIS Pitches group of companies, is poised to take Indian cricket to new heights with its revolutionary investment in the first-ever hybrid pitch installation in the picturesque HPCA Stadium in Dharamshala. This cutting-edge technology will transform the game by providing a more durable, consistent, and high-performing playing surface. SISGrass technology offers players an unbeatable combination of safety, durability, and unrivalled playability.

The beautiful HPCA stadium is set to witness the first-of-its-kind hybrid pitch installation. This landmark development is just the beginning of an exciting new era in Indian cricket, with many major projects set to follow across the country in 2024 and beyond. The innovative hybrid pitch technology is poised to start a new chapter for the game in India, offering players the best of natural and artificial surfaces, the HPCA informed in a release on Monday.

Talking about the installation, R.P. Singh, Hony. President, HPCA, said, “Dharamshala is emerging as one of the most sought-after stadiums for fans, renowned for its picturesque surroundings and captivating ambiance and is hosting domestic, international and IPL matches. HPCA has consistently embraced technological advancements in cricket.

"From our cutting-edge indoor facilities at the centre of excellence to implementing LED lighting and SIS Air Systems for efficient water drainage, we remain dedicated to elevating the experience for players and fans alike. The arrival of SISGrass's groundbreaking hybrid pitch technology in India signifies a game-changing moment for our national cricket. This innovative approach underscores our commitment to elevate the sport to new heights of excellence,” he said.

Former England Player and SIS's International Cricket Director, Paul Taylor, said, “As we inject new and improved technological advancements into India’s vibrant cricket ecosystem, we foresee a catalytic effect on its growth trajectory.

"Cricket serves as a unifying force across your vast nation, acting as a lever of unity. At SISGrass, and working with fine turf specialists Greater Ten, our delivery partner in India, we are committed to investing in this ecosystem by providing top-notch facilities, such as hybrid pitches, which will enhance participation in the game and nourish the talent pool,” he said.

Taylor added, “Our cutting-edge systems confidently deliver superior cricket pitches to local areas, empowering passionate Indian cricketers and budding talent to elevate their game with state-of-the-art facilities and equipment. Investing in India means investing in the future of cricket at all levels, setting the stage for other cricket-playing nations to continue their growth and development. Through initiatives like ours, we aim to expedite India’s journey into becoming a global sporting powerhouse.”

SISGrass has completed work on improving playing surface quality and consistency for amateur and professional levels of cricket, which will make the sport accessible to millions more people. SIS has invested in India after the International Cricket Council (ICC) allowed the use of hybrid surfaces for T20 and 50-over competitions. Following the success of installing hybrids across English cricket grounds, SIS decided to develop the technology in India.

The Universal machine, which is being used in Dharamshala to install the hybrid surface, was first developed by SISGrass in 2017. It injects a small percentage of polymer fibre into the natural turf inside cricket stadiums.

This composition is more resilient to stresses created during play, helps to prolong the life of pitches, guarantees an even bounce, and eases pressure on busy groundskeepers. The completed installations are still predominantly natural grass, with only 5% polymer fibre used. This ensures that the characteristics of an all-natural pitch are maintained.

(The content of this article is sourced from a news agency and has not been edited by the ap7am team.)

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