The WACA Wicket Overhaul enters next phase has taken the next step in its overhaul of the WACA Ground pitch block last week when ground staff dug up four of the existing 10 pitches on the wicket block and re-laid them with new clay and grass.
In a bid to recreate the pace and bounce WACA wickets are historically renowned for, WACA curator Cameron Sutherland exhumed the wickets to the existing loam layer. A new layer of clay, which was sourced from a reserve on the Harvey River in Waroona, then took its place on four of the wickets before being re-grassed.
The remaining six wickets were also treated to new rolls of turf.
Sutherland said the new clay source, which was retrieved from the site used between the 1960s until 1990, had been tested and was more aligned with the characteristics of the soils from the past two decades that encouraged the pace and bounce WACA pitches are renowned for.
“When it comes to creating pace and bounce, the clay, with a strong couch is the key,” Sutherland said.
“The traditional WACA soil was made up of 75-85 per cent clay, which became rock hard when it was rolled and baked under the sun.
“But the WACA pitches of late have fallen to around 55-65 per cent clay, with 28-38 per cent sand, which means the clay is not as strong and more dispersive, meaning pace and bounce is affected.
“The clay we have laid, as well as the new rolls of turf, should encourage a more traditional set of pitches over the coming seasons as they establish.
WACA Chief Executive Officer Graeme Wood said getting the WACA wicket back to its renowned fast and bouncy nature was a high priority.
“The WACA has spent the past two years looking at ways to revitalise the WACA wicket and have it playing like it used to in the golden era of the WACA in the 1970s and 1980s,” Wood said.
“Cameron has spent a lot of time researching and scouting potential clay sources.
“The Waroona site holds a lot of promise for us and we anticipate an improvement in pace and bounce once the block settles and becomes match ready.”
To read at the original source- https://www.wacricket.com.au/news/waca-wicket-overhaul-enters-next-phase/2007-03-26
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