- Cricket is played on turf pitches. This natural grass surface has many undulations, imperfections and cracks that cause the bouncing ball to deviate. Furthermore, a new match ball is hard and has a proud seam, which creates even more movement off the pitch.
- By contrast, the vast majority of cricket training is performed on artificial turf wickets that have a flat uniform surface. Sessions are typically conducted with softer, pre-used leather balls that have a flat seam. Because of these factors, the ball rarely deviates from the practice wicket.
- Cricketers are therefore ill-prepared for the match-day challenge of facing a new ball deviating off cracks in a natural turf wicket. Poor technique, and ultimately fewer runs, are the result.
- The TurfTop cricket training mat solves this problem. Ridges and undulations in the mat’s surface introduce variability in the bounce of the ball, just as a new cricket ball will do on a turf pitch.
- The end result is better technique, more successful batting and ultimately more runs.
- Bowlers also benefit from the TurfTop mat by learning to pitch the ball onto the ideal spot on the wicket. If the delivery hits the mat, which is positioned on a good line and length, then the ball often deviates, giving the bowler far more reward and feedback than is provided by a flat, uniform, unresponsive pitch.
The TurfTop – a new dimension in cricket practice
- The product consists of a four metre by one metre strip of artificial turf into which small ridges have been added. It is these indentations that cause the ball to deviate.
- The front edge of the TurfTop mat has a unique wedge-shaped strip that helps prevent the ball from flying up uncontrollably if it hits the edge of the mat.
- The TurfTop mat offers deviation akin to a turf wicket with moderate cracking and wear-and-tear; it deviates a good length ball up to 30 cm, but more typically about 10 cm. This movement occurs approximately once every three or four deliveries.
- The TurfTop cricket training mat is simply rolled out over the top of the existing pitch before the session begins. Afterwards it quickly rolls up for storage in a simple bag, and is fully portable.
- Alternatively, if the team has a private or lockable net, the TurfTop mat can simply be left in place on the pitch, as it is durable, UV resistant and weather proof.