Chennai: Cricket is a fancy game with ball and bat, but in reality the role of groundsmen is important for each and every match right from leveling the pitch to monitoring the outfield.
Here is one such grounds man, Murugesan, who does the job for a cricket coaching academy at Ramakrishna Mission Grounds, GN Chetty Road at T Nagar in the city.
How is the ground prepared for a match?
“There are aspects covered in the process, one the pitch and the other outfield. The pitch, if turf, needs to be filled with a composition of various sands like red sand and gravel mixture after digging a few feet. It has to be rolled before every match. Such a preparation will help the play area adjust to all weather conditions,” replied Murugesan in the middle of preparing the ground for Gen-next Cricket Institute (founded by ace cricketer Ravichandran Ashwin).
About maintaining the grass levels on the outfield, Murugesan said, “Two inches will be kept in tact on the outfield to provide safe surface for the fielders. We monitor the growth of grass on a daily basis and cut down the extra growth every now and then.”
“Also, we observe the ground level of the outfield on four sides and use rollers to make it equal on all sides,” he explained.
Reacting to a question about taking up this career, Murugesan commented, “I have been doing the job for several years. For the past few years, I am associated with Gen-next Cricket Institute which trains over 40 youngsters of different ages at this ground.”
“I feel very happy after every match when the coaches and players praise us for making the ground fit for a good match,” he grinned.