Port Pirie's cricket pitches are in tip-top condition

GOOD NICK: Adelaide Oval curator Damian Hough, second from left, admires the cricket pitch at Memorial Oval with council chief executive officer Peter Ackland, left, and Allan Henderson and Phillipa Woolford, of the parks and gardens team.
GOOD NICK: Adelaide Oval curator Damian Hough, second from left, admires the cricket pitch at Memorial Oval with council chief executive officer Peter Ackland, left, and Allan Henderson and Phillipa Woolford, of the parks and gardens team.

One of Australia's leading curators has praised the Memorial Oval cricket pitch as being "spot on".

He is Damian Hough who took over as Adelaide Oval curator from the legendary Les Burdett.

Mr Hough visited Port Pirie on Friday as a guest of the Solomontown-North Cricket Club led by Leigh Warwick and Lazro Kovacevic.

He walked to the four pitches in the centre of the oval with a keen eye, picking out virtually-invisible undulations which he said were only a minor issue.

"Keep doing what you are doing," he told council parks and gardens leading hand and curator Phillipa Woolford.

He said it was "like she had spent a summer with Les Burdett".

"The processes were the way we were taught. It reminded me of me," he said.

"From a cricket side of things ... there are simple principles that we follow. Pitch preparation is quite unique in itself.

From a cricket side of things ... there are simple principles that we follow. Pitch preparation is quite unique in itself. They are following the basic principles. I would be proud to have it as my pitch.

Damian Hough, Adelaide Oval curator

"It varies - you have to got to adjust to what the weather is chucking at you.

"They are following the basic principles. I would be proud to have it as my pitch."

Ms Woolford said the pitch at next-door Pirie West Oval was receiving some preparation for early October because cricket would be played there this season.

"The Memorial Oval pitch will probably take a little longer to prepare for this season," she said.

"I guess that along the way you pick up tips from Damian and Les.

"The more you do it, the better you get at it - you just listen to the experts and, if you do what the experts tell you, you cannot go wrong."

Mr Henderson said Mr Hough had a "wealth of information".

"He said we could not be doing anything better than what we are doing so that was good," he said.

It will be the second season of cricket on the oval while it will be the first round of competition for the two pitches on Pirie West Oval.

Port Pirie Regional Council's chief executive officer, Peter Ackland, said it was "awesome" that the staff had been able to learn from experts.

He said it boosted their confidence and ensured high-class facilities. Leigh Warwick, of the Solomontown-North club, said Mr Hough had planned to discuss turf preparation, fertiliser, equipment rolling and times.

"Everyone had different ideas on how things should be done and when the pitches should be rolled," he said. "I contacted Damian Hough to get his thoughts.

"We had a chat and he confirmed that pitches should be rolled before game day for the safety of players and for the longevity of the pitches."

Cricketers will begin the season knowing that they will be competing on the very best of surfaces, thanks to council and Mr Hough.

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