CRICKET conditions at Mallala Oval are about to change for the better, after Adelaide Plains Council approved the Mallala Cricket Club’s application to have a turf wicket installed on the ground.
The current concrete-based, matted wicket will be ripped up and removed in January next year and replaced with four turf wickets, which will be ready to play on in September 2018.
Mallala Cricket Club (MCC) president Kelly Curnow said discussions over the installation of the turf pitch started with the Barossa & Light Cricket Association (B&LCA) three years ago and the project’s approval was important for the club.
“We’ve just been promoted into A1 and (B&LCA) have a plan in place that is going to come into practice next year, where clubs
which don’t have turf can’t be in the A1 category,” he said.
“If we didn’t have a turf wicket, we wouldn’t be allowed to stay in that top category, so we couldn’t be happier that we’ve
been given the all-clear.”
Mr Curnow said the club’s members have collectively raised around $25,000 for the development, but also received significant help from all levels of cricket and local residents to cover the remainder of the bill.
“We had one generous farmer, who lives near the oval, donate $5000 and supply two trucks for the movement of the soil, so having some good people around the community has been a big help,” he said.
“The (B&LCA) has been fantastic and they’re providing us with $3000 for the upgrade.
“We’ve also received $5000 from the South Australian Cricket Association and $10,000 from Cricket Australia.”
Mr Curnow said the club currently has around 40 players – playing across two senior and two junior teams – and are hoping
the introduction of turf wickets will raise the level of junior participation rates.
“If you don’t have juniors, you don’t have a future in your club,” he said.
“Once some of the older guys move on, you want to see some of the younger guys to come through and take the spot, so juniors is a big focus for us going forward.”