How to repair foot holes on a cricket pitch is a guide is a great way of extending the use of a pitch or practice net. This simple step by step guide shows you through the process.
Daniel Rouse is the Groundsman at Billericay Cricket club and works for Essex Cricket.
Also this blog contains 5 questions asked by our community, answered at the bottom of the blog.
Repairing foot holes is a great way of extending the use of a pitch or practice net.
So why or when do we need to do this?
Well when the wear on the ends means a bowler or batter could roll there ankle when landing (Bowler) or if the area is effecting there normal stance (batter).
Preparing the Loam
Well first of all you need a bag of loam. Spread the loam out thinly and then add a small amount of water and leave it to soak in for a bit.
Watering can, a robinson bottle with a holes pierced in the cap/lid or mist spray bottle.
How much water will depend how dry the loam is in the bag and the type of loam your using. After the water has soaked into the mix, mix it up by turning it over onto itself with a shovel.
Mixing can also be downsized to using a wheelbarrow or even a bucket, loam can be mixed within them.
Check The Loam is Binding
The loam is ready when you are able to form a ball with the mix, but if you give it a chop it will break in half. Then you should be able to crumble it back up again, as in the below images.
Preparing The Foot Hole
Preparation of the hole is vital, once the loam has been prepared and this all comes with practice.
You will then need to wet the area your going to fill. It should be damp and not wet when you fill it with loam.
Prior to adding water, ensure hole is swept out of any debris/dust.
Incorporate Loam and Tamp Down
Using your hand , work the moisture around contours of hole, should never be a puddle of water once any loam is added.
You should fill it as high as it is deep with the loam and tread it down working from the outside inwards.
Ensure you also firm in around the edges as you go.
Once you have done that you can start to wack it down with a tamper. Again, working from the outside into the middle.
Once it is smooth and compacted so you’re not denting it when you hit it your done.
If you wish, at this point you can also cover the repair with some dust and work around with your hand and then lightly swept up after.
I hope your enjoyed my How to repair foot holes on a cricket pitch blog, if you have any tips or questions let me know below.
5 Questions on Foot Hole Repairs from our Community
1- Do we need to tamp the loam down with a tampler and why?
The tampler is vital in that it pushes together the soil particles into any air space voids, this makes for a higher level of consolidation and hardness.
2- Can you use cement?
Anything is possible, but using a good loam well prepared and tamped down l really do not see the need for cement.
Once the pitch is used, we want grass also to grow back in these areas and cements really is not going to help in that.
3-How wet does the loam need to be?
The loam needs to be damp, but never wet enough to stick to your hands or the bottom of the tamper.
The loam just need to be moist enough to be able to bind together, as in the above comments from Daniel.
4-Why does our foot holes crack?
In my experience l would be either the loam is too dry (not binding together), or the loam is being tamped too hard and not enough firming has taken place by foot prior.
Also ensure the foot hole is swept our and water is applied around the diameter of the hole.
5- What is the difference between foot holes being filled the day before, in comparison to those filled during change of innings.
When foot holes are repaired a day or so prior to use, the amount of water added to the loam is less critical as the loam has longer to dry.
When foot holes only have 20/30 minutes to dry, between innings they just need less moisture adding to the loam, to ensure quicker drying.
As a Groundsman you just have to practice, as all bags can have differing moisture levels and also differing clay contents, so they all dry individually.
This blog will go into our learning resources section, on our community section with our other top rated blogs- https://turfcareblog.com/learning-resources-blog-archives/
Did you know we also have a How to Guide section here on TurfCareBlog, including a video on How to Repair Footholes.