No sooner did the IPL get over, the BCCI shifted its focus to the next domestic season. The Board conducted a two-day workshop for state association curators for bettering wickets in domestic cricket.
The move was prompted by India’s recent dismal away run and poor-quality pitches for most domestic tournaments. One of the important decisions was to conduct a certification course for groundsmen.
For now, the BCCI has announced a three-week training-cum-certification programme for graduates in agriculture science to attract trained professionals for preparing wickets. The initiative is scheduled between July 9 and 29 in Mohali.
“It was agreed in principle that the three-week programme should be followed by a training programme for the maalis (groundsmen),” Venkat Sundaram, chairman of BCCI's ground and pitches committee, told HT.
“Besides having trained professionals heading various units of curators, the need is also to train most of those who end up working on preparation and maintenance of grounds and pitches.”
To make the curators alive to the need to maintain the outfield and wickets, the BCCI has tied up with the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai.
Representatives of the premier institute have collected samples of soil and grass from major venues and will suggest means to improve the quality.
In a way, the BCCI has been forced to address the issue after it suspended the Karnail Singh Stadium in New Delhi --- home ground for Railways --- for consistently producing poor pitches last season.
A warning was also issued to the Hyderabad Cricket Association for preparing sub-par wickets.