VISITORS to the Cooper Associates County Ground, home of Somerset CCC, will not have failed to notice the large marquee which has recently been erected on the pitch.
It has naturally left some people asking, ‘What is it for?’, well, Somerset Director of Cricket, Andy Hurry, is the man with all the answers.
“Part of the strategy of the club going forward is to make sure that we start the season better than we have done in recent seasons,” he told somersetcountycc.co.uk. “With this in mind, it was decided that we would put up a marquee so that we can get the transition from indoors to outdoors sooner.
“This will give our batters the chance to face bowlers on grass and give our seam and spin bowlers the chance to bowl on the same surfaces that they will be using in the summer.
“There is a huge amount of excitement about the place. All of the players have been working exceedingly hard since before Christmas and now they will get the chance to get out there in the marquee and work from February 19th.
“Getting the chance to transfer their skills outside is something that they are really looking forward to.
“The marquee is 50 metres long and wide enough to accommodate five lanes. Our Head Groundsman, Simon Lee, says that we can utilise more than one of the pitches at a time. That means we will be looking to maximize the use of the pitches. By moving the position of the stumps we could have up to as many as 15 different pitches available to us over the six-week period we will be using it for.
“The marquee now requires a period to dry out and to this end we have got two dehumidifiers in there working to extract all of the moisture. Simon will be managing the moisture levels and the secret will be how we can manage the pitches to keep them active for as long as possible.
“We are confident that we can maximize the use of the marquee leading up to our competitive games in pre-season.”