Českomoravský kriketový svaz (ČMKS aka Czech cricket union) have managed to develop a ground which is officially a turf pitch ground. It was funded by ICC as a part of the affiliate nations development program. Located in the northern outskirt of Prague it is basically agricultural land turned sporting field. The inaugural match took place in April 2012. It is the first sports facility in the whole country dedicated only to cricket which makes it the only cricket ground as well. Local clubs cannot afford to have one built and had shared a municipal grass field to play the game in the past (shared with pedestrians, bikers and dogs too on weekends).
Obviously it is a great thing for Czech cricket however the first season has brought a few problems. Not so unexpected ones some may say. To set up and maintain a turf pitch ground in a remote area in a country where off-season lasts six months? And where cricket is absolutely minor sport without money? That is an adventure, gentlemen.
ČMKS lacks money, expertise and given the location even practical means (no water source, no roller) to keep the ground in playable condition. At least for now. Perhaps it could be noted that the process of choosing the right location and whether to have turf or artificial pitch was not the most transparent one. Our fellow cricketers in Germany and Austria do have AstroTurf pitches and it is always a pleasure to play there. This year’s 40-over league final was played in Dresden.
Season is over and the new one begins in April 2013. We are eagerly awaiting spring to see how long hibernation will treat our ground.
Ceratinly easy to cricticise. People niggle but it is a huge step forward for local cricket. I have played some intense cricket here this year and thoroughly enjoyed it. I daresay I was not alone. The ducks, the run-outs, sun tan and air traffic from nearby airport. A noob’s perception of things may vary from senior player’s of course. A local’s perception may vary from expat’s too.
Being into cricket in central Europe requires patience. Having played only my second season so far I have plenty left…I try not to look at pictures of people playing our level of cricket in South Africa or Australia too often 🙂