The Marulan Cricket Club was established in 1866 and the 2020/21 season saw the reforming of the first senior side for the club in over 8 years. The club currently run a Junior Blast Program and are looking to welcome a few junior team’s next season.
David Insley, Mt Broughton golf course greenkeeper, who lives just down the road and plays for the club, reached out to Sports Turf Association NSW (STA NSW) committee members for advice on improving the existing pitch. From this communication an idea was formed to hold a trade event with wicket experts and sponsors to assist the club with replacing the old wicket block.
This wasn’t going to be an easy task as both the club and wicket had been out of action for eight years and required a huge amount of work to get things up to scratch. As Dave is a passionate cricketer with a love for the game, he was determined to reinstate the club’s turf wicket block and sure up the future of the reformed senior team and the club.
The existing wicket block had become overrun with weeds, mixed turf and couch varieties as well as a thick organic layer. This combined, contributed to a reduction in wicket hardness and stability, and in-turn reduced the bounce of the ball rendering the wickets unplayable.
With the limited wicket experience David had, he purchased the much-needed equipment with his own money including a roller, cylinder mower and hand tools to undertake the maintenance work required.
Interestingly, the club had a substantial quantity of rare Bulli wicket soil (as used on the SCG) they had intended to use for the project. Members of the cricket club were notified of an overloaded truck at the nearby weighbridge on the highway that needed to reduce its weight before it continued on for delivery. This triggered a number of residents to load their utes and trucks from the parked-up semi’s trailer using shovels to help get it to the right weight and so they could utilise the soil.
The story of how this came to be captivated members of the STA NSW committee and they were determined to help the not-for-profit local club get the works completed. On March 2nd this year, all of this planning culminated in the Sports Turf Association of NSW managing a full wicket reconstruction for the club.
The day attracted a number of participants to help undertake the removal of the existing dead turf and surface, leveling the surface and placement of the new turf. The wicket block was then watered with the local Rural Fire Service truck giving the new turf a deep soak later that evening.
The day all happened thanks to the unbelievable input of the following people and businesses:
Ventrac Australia for removing the existing surface with the PowerRake and PowerBroom, and also mowing and aerating the outfield.
MusTurf – MusTurf donated labour, machinery and supplied the 300m2 of washed TifTuf Hybrid Bermuda (Couch grass) for the wicket table.
Ground Solutions Australia provided the outfield some attention with their recycled top dresser.
Nuturf supplied wetting agent to help the turf establish.
Colin Campbell Chemicals supplied a drum of herbicide to keep the wicket table clean of weeds.
Mick Sammut of Mikes Grassing Around will be supplying irrigation gear, to be installed at a later stage.
STA NSW Committee members – Daryl Davidson, Damien Curtis, Grant Thomas, Mick Sutton and Sophie Devine organised and participated in the day.
Everyone had a huge sense of accomplishment and a number of new friendships have been formed. There is even talk of a yearly cricket match between the club and a STA NSW team to commemorate this new wicket reconstruction.
The installation of the TifTuf wicket block will provide a much-needed boost to the club’s facility so they can continue to build and provide the local community with the best possible sporting surface.
For Marulan Cricket Club this is just the beginning of their TifTuf wicket experience as they journey to getting senior and junior teams back playing in their local competition and growing its club’s member base.
We look forward to seeing updates of this wicket grow in and wish Dave and the club all the best in their competition.