The TurfTop - a new dimension in cricket practice
It is difficult to think of another sport in which the participants train on a different surface to the one on which they compete.
Cricket is played on turf pitches. This natural grass surface has many undulations, imperfections and cracks that cause the bouncing ball to deviate. Furthermore, a new match ball is hard and has a proud seam, which creates even more movement off the pitch.
By contrast, the vast majority of cricket training is performed on artificial turf wickets that have a flat uniform surface. Sessions are typically conducted with softer, pre-used leather balls that have a flat seam. Because of these factors, the ball rarely deviates from the practice wicket.
Cricketers are therefore ill-prepared for the match-day challenge of facing a new ball deviating off cracks in a natural turf wicket. Poor technique, and ultimately fewer runs, are the result.
The TurfTop cricket training mat solves this problem. Ridges and undulations in the mat’s surface introduce variability in the bounce of the ball, just as a new cricket ball will do on a turf pitch.
The end result is better technique, more successful batting and ultimately more runs.
Bowlers also benefit from the TurfTop mat by learning to pitch the ball onto the ideal spot on the wicket. If the delivery hits the mat, which is positioned on a good line and length, then the ball often deviates, giving the bowler far more reward and feedback than is provided by a flat, uniform, unresponsive pitch.
The product consists of a four metre by one metre strip of artificial turf into which small ridges have been added. It is these indentations that cause the ball to deviate.
The front edge of the TurfTop mat has a unique wedge-shaped strip that helps prevent the ball from flying up uncontrollably if it hits the edge of the mat.
The TurfTop mat offers deviation akin to a turf wicket with moderate cracking and wear-and-tear; it deviates a good length ball up to 30 cm, but more typically about 10 cm. This movement occurs approximately once every three or four deliveries.
The TurfTop cricket training mat is simply rolled out over the top of the existing pitch before the session begins. Afterwards it quickly rolls up for storage in a simple bag, and is fully portable.
Alternatively, if the team has a private or lockable net, the TurfTop mat can simply be left in place on the pitch, as it is durable, UV resistant and weather proof.