HIMACHAL’S DHARAMSHALA BECOMES THE FIRST INDIAN STADIUM TO HOST A SISGRASS HYBRID PITCH INSTALLED BY GLOBAL SPORTS SURFACE COMPANY SIS PITCHES -

HIMACHAL’S DHARAMSHALA BECOMES THE FIRST INDIAN STADIUM TO HOST A SISGRASS HYBRID PITCH INSTALLED BY GLOBAL SPORTS SURFACE COMPANY SIS PITCHES

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Mr. Arun Dhumal with Mr. Paul Taylor and other HPCA Authorities.

  • HPCA have been the pioneers of embracing technological advancements in cricket. 

  • Cutting-edge indoor facilities at the centre of excellence for the implementation of LED lighting and SIS Air Systems for efficient water drainage.

  • The Dharamshala Stadium to Host First Hybrid Pitch Installation.

  • SISGrass’s Universal Machine Creates Durable, Consistent Playing Surfaces.

  • SISGrass Technology Poised to Transform Indian Cricket Landscape.

Khel Today Bureau 

Dharamshala: The Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) has always been at the forefront of adopting technological advancements in cricket. Recently, HPCA, the governing body of cricket in the state has taken an exciting initiative to introduce SISGrass Hybrid Pitch Technology into their practice facilities. This move will ensure that the practice pitches are of top-notch quality, as traditional surfaces cannot withstand rigorous training schedules and tend to deteriorate quickly, limiting valuable practice opportunities for players.

Based in the Netherlands, SISGrass, part of the SIS Pitches group of companies, is poised to take Indian cricket to new heights with its revolutionary investment in the first-ever hybrid pitch installation in the picturesque HPCA Stadium in Dharamshala. This cutting-edge technology will transform the game by providing a more durable, consistent, and high-performing playing surface. SISGrass technology offers players an unbeatable combination of safety, durability, and unrivalled playability. 

The beautiful HPCA stadium is set to witness the first-of-its-kind hybrid pitch installation. This landmark development is just the beginning of an exciting new era in Indian cricket, with many major projects set to follow across the country in 2024 and beyond. The innovative hybrid pitch technology is poised to start a new chapter for the game in India, offering players the best of natural and artificial surfaces.

 

Talking about the installation, Mr. R.P. Singh, Hony. President, HPCA, said, Dharamshala is emerging as one of the most sought-after stadiums for fans, renowned for its picturesque surroundings and captivating ambiance and is hosting domestic, international and IPL matches. HPCA has consistently embraced technological advancements in cricket. From our cutting-edge indoor facilities at the centre of excellence to implementing LED lighting and SIS Air Systems for efficient water drainage, we remain dedicated to elevating the experience for players and fans alike. The arrival of SISGrass’s ground-breaking hybrid pitch technology in India signifies a game-changing moment for our national cricket. This innovative approach underscores our commitment to elevate the sport to new heights of excellence.”

Former England Player and SIS’s International Cricket Director, Mr. Paul Taylor, said, “As we inject new and improved technological advancements into India’s vibrant cricket ecosystem, we foresee a catalytic effect on its growth trajectory.  Cricket serves as a unifying force across your vast nation, acting as a lever of unity. At SISGrass, and working with fine turf specialists Greater Ten, our delivery partner in India, we are committed to investing in this ecosystem by providing top-notch facilities, such as hybrid pitches, which will enhance participation in the game and nourish the talent pool.”

Mr. Taylor added, “Our cutting-edge systems confidently deliver superior cricket pitches to local areas, empowering passionate Indian cricketers and budding talent to elevate their game with state-of-the-art facilities and equipment. Investing in India means investing in the future of cricket at all levels, setting the stage for other cricket-playing nations to continue their growth and development. Through initiatives like ours, we aim to expedite India’s journey into becoming a global sporting powerhouse.”

SISGrass has completed work on improving playing surface quality and consistency for amateur and professional levels of cricket, which will make the sport accessible to millions more people. SIS has invested in India after the International Cricket Council allowed the use of hybrid surfaces for T20 and 50-over competitions. Following the success of installing hybrids across English cricket grounds, SIS decided to develop the technology in India. 

The Universal machine, which is being used in Dharamshala to install the hybrid surface, was first developed by SISGrass in 2017. It injects a small percentage of polymer fibre with the natural turf inside cricket stadiums. This composition is more resilient to stresses created during play, helps to prolong the life of pitches, guarantees an even bounce, and eases pressure on busy groundskeepers. The completed installations are still predominantly natural grass, with only 5% polymer fibre used. This ensures that the characteristics of an all-natural pitch are maintained.

In the United Kingdom, hybrid pitches are approved for T20 and 50-over competitions and starting in 2024 they will also be used in four-day County Championship matches. The Universal is the first machine of its kind and has already demonstrated its effectiveness in the UK. It has been used to install SISGrass at almost every County ground in England, including internationally recognised grounds like Lord’s, The Kia Oval, Edgbaston, Emirates Old Trafford and Trent Bridge. 

The Universal machine has been installed in Dharamshala to stitch the pitches. Once it is complete, it will move on to Ahmedabad and Mumbai to create more pitches for practice and matches. Once the first three installations are complete, the machine will remain in India and be immediately available to other grounds and facilities as projects are approved.

Introducing hybrid pitches marks a significant moment for India’s national game, which has been promoting T20 cricket through the IPL. These shorter formats have been one of the primary reasons behind the development of hybrid surfaces. The more intense periods of play have made it challenging to prepare all-natural surfaces in time for top-level competitions.

About SISGrass

SISGrass is part of the SIS Pitches group of companies. SISGrass designs, constructs and supplies hybrid and synthetic cricket match pitches and practice net areas for a wide variety of organisations, including international cricket venues, local cricket clubs, schools, and universities. It also offers comprehensive aftercare and maintenance services.  SISGrass hybrid cricket surfaces are International Cricket Council (ICC) approved for T20 and one-day International Cricket.  They are approved by the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for T20 and one-day cricket, and in 2024 are approved for four-day First Class County Championship matches. SISGrass fully synthetic cricket surfaces and net systems are England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) approved.

About SIS Pitches

SIS Pitches is a fully international business with offices around the world, including UK, Ireland, Netherlands, Turkey and the Middle East. The company designs, constructs and supplies hybrid, synthetic and natural sports pitches for a wide variety of organisations, including international football clubs, sports clubs, schools and universities. It also offers comprehensive aftercare and maintenance services. SIS Pitches is a FIFA Licensee, a World Rugby Preferred Turf Producer and a certified FIH manufacturer, providing football, rugby, hockey and cricket pitches, and new pitches for sports clubs. SIS Pitches is part of a framework agreement to provide the design, manufacture, installation, and maintenance of artificial grass pitches. The agreement is in support of the Rugby Football Union (RFU), Football Association (FA), Sport England, England Hockey, and Football Foundation (FF) capital investment programmes.

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