STATEMENT REGARDING WARWICKSHIRE PITCH

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The pitch used for the Sussex v Warwickshire LV= County Championship match from 24 to 27 May 2015 was rated “poor” by the umpires.

In accordance with regulations, the Cricket Liaison Officer gathered the views of the umpires, captains and coaches of each team, as well as the head groundsman regarding the preparation and performance of the pitch. A report was prepared and submitted to the Chairman of the Cricket Discipline Commission (CDC). The ECB Pitch Consultant also visited Hove and submitted a separate report.

The Chairman of the CDC considered these reports against the regulatory requirement that “each county shall actively seek to prepare the best quality cricket pitch that it can for the match that it is staging” and concluded that there was no evidence to suggest that Sussex CCC had breached this requirement. Accordingly, no further action shall be taken.

(Note –penalties will only be applied where a pitch is rated “poor” or “unfit” and where a County did not seek to prepare the best quality pitch for the match).

Pitch Report and Comment from Sussex CCC:

We believe it appropriate to comment on the situation regarding the pitch used for our match against Warwickshire. Clearly we have received many comments regarding the pitch and its playing condition.

The pitch was marked ‘poor’ by the umpires at the close of play due to excessive seam movement throughout the match. The Cricket Liaison officer attended the match to oversee the process following the umpires mark and compiled a report for the ECB Cricket Discipline Commission following interviews with the captains, umpires and head Groundsman. Further, Chris Wood (ECB Pitch Consultant) visited the ground on the 28th May and inspected the pitch.

It was concluded that the prevailing overhead conditions during the first two days of the match had unduly affected the pitch and that there was no case to answer: the Club having prepared the pitch with the best of intentions.

As a club we were extremely disappointed with the situation. We have invested over £250,000 in the last few years towards the improvement of our playing facilities at Hove.

These have included

• Installation of an automated irrigation system

• Extensive and thorough renovation of the outfield

• Improved drainage

• The gradual re-laying of the square

• Improvements in the turf nets

• Improvements in machinery, manpower and associated facilities.

We have a commitment for continual improvement under the excellent guidance of our Head Groundsman who we fully support. We will learn what we can from this issue, invest in any equipment necessary and do our utmost as always to prepare the best playing surface possible.

 

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