Flicx UK, manufacturers of world’s most versatile, portable cricket pitch, are working in partnership with Cricket Australia (CA) to support their junior formats programme. A container of 2G Flicx Junior Multi-Age pitches will be distributed shortly across states following a successful pilot project last season.
The junior formats programme is being rolled out across Australia with shorter pitches and smaller boundaries leading to 21% more boundaries, 14% more runs scored, 13% more wickets taken and 13% less wide balls or no balls. More importantly, player and volunteer feedback were highly positive however like many associations, CA is experiencing facility challenges linked with growing participation. There are fewer green spaces and huge pressures on traditional turf wickets so different temporary solutions need to be sought.
As part of the pilot in 2018, Cricket Australia (CA) engaged Flicx UK to assist in providing an alternative playing surface for Australian Cricket’s junior formats whilst allowing multiple games to be played at a single venue. With the growth of junior cricket, more and more clubs and associations are looking at an alternative to the traditional centre wicket. Temporary pitch solutions ease the pressure on junior competition managers and associations by allowing multiple games to be played at a single venue. The 2G Flicx Pitch is made up of interlocking tiles and applications in this programme typically included being rolled out on an oval outfield to avoid damage to the club’s primary turf wicket especially if juniors are playing off different lengths.
The new partnership with Cricket Australia sees an approved product, the 2G Flicx Junior Multi-Age Pitch, promoted to clubs and councils on an opt-in basis with a subsidised price. The improved 2G technology from Flicx provides a consistent bounce and offers turn to spinners when rolled out on a firm, flat area. Batsmen can play their shots in confidence and its quick and easy for club volunteers to roll out the pitch ahead of matches and training. The star quality of the 2G Flicx Pitch, however, is its versatility so clubs, councils and schools have the option of using the same product in the nets, indoors or even for beach cricket!
With green spaces at a premium and multi-use sports areas being stretched – the 2G Flicx Pitch is a real problem solver as it’s a temporary solution which requires minimal ground preparation and maintenance and is very durable making it a great investment. The pitch selected by Cricket Australia will enable clubs to host stage 1 (U11s) and stage 2 (U13s) games just by moving the stumps.
Speaking about the project Flicx UK’s Managing Director Richard Beghin commented “When the Flicx Pitch was developed in South Africa over 20 years ago the aim was always to provide more opportunities for people to play cricket and develop through the power of sport. It’s great to support this new format in Australia and our team looks forward to supporting the roll-out of these bespoke pitches with the CA network.
The Flicx pitch provides Australia Cricket with the opportunity to expand its Junior Cricket footprint while utilising the full capability of our facilities.
“The ever-growing junior cricket landscape demands more facilities and facility optimisation, with the 2G MAP Flicx Pitch; this allows more games to be played, more often with a strong alignment to the Australian Cricket Formats” commented James Liggins, Junior Pathway Support Officer at CA.
“Cricket Australia looks forward to the further development of the 2G Flicx Pitch, and we hope that this growing partnership will assist in providing additional opportunities to our club network.”
Flicx Pitches heading to Australia
The city of Stonnington Council was one of the councils involved in the 2018 pilot project to try and solve one of urban Australia’s most perplexing issues; the proper utilisation of junior sport’s dwindling recreational space in densely populated inner-city areas.
“Portable pitches would allow for these grounds to not only be well used, but they could potentially also allow for junior cricket to be prioritised and allow for them to play on better quality grounds. The pitches have minimal impact on the subsurface, which is fantastic. We’re thinking it would be beneficial to play junior games using these pitches on Premier Club venues such as Junction Oval and Toorak Park.”
“The pitches could be the answer to the headaches being caused by limited access to sportsgrounds. It provides us with more of a chance to get kids to play cricket,” said Mr Grant Smethurst, the Recreational Services Coordinator for the City of Stonnington.
• Walkerville trials Flicx Pitches for junior cricket https://www.saca.com.au/news/walkerville-trial-flicx-pitches/2018-10-29
• Portable pitches on trial in Melbourne https://www.cricketvictoria.com.au/portable-pitches-trial-melbourne/