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Geology/Pitches in Cricket.


Dear Keith

What will be the techniques used by the curator to prepare Fast Bouncy pitch for fast bowlers Or Spinning track for Spinners?.


My knowledge of cricket is limited to what I have gathered by watching a match or two.

However I will attempt to offer some insight.

I understand that synthetic pitches can be used to host lower level matches but not on the professional level and would result in a bouncier pitch, since they are overlain on concrete.

I am aware that a pitch can be rolled in order presumably to smooth out the surface which is grass covered.  

So knowing those things, I would have to say that the curator would have to know a bit about soil science.

If the soil of a pitch were to contain more clay, and allowed to dry out a bit before a match, it would result in a harder surface which would result in a bouncier surface.

Now I read on Wikipedia that pitches in Australia are bouncy, and that could be due to the red clay nature of the soil resulting in a harder pitch, whereas the pitches in India are more conducive to play by spinners due to the fact they are drier.  To me the two seem to be the same.  Dry pitches would be hard pitches, and so conducive to fast bouncy bowlers.

So I must assume that hardness of the pitch is not always related to how dry it is, which would tell me that not all dry pitches have a high percentage of clay.

The article above produced in Australia supports my assumptions.  It presents formula for bulli composition which consists of clay, sand calcium carbonate(lime), Sodium, and organic matter.  Careful adjustment of these would allow you to create a pitch that would meet your specifications for bounce or spin.

As I assumed clay composition is one of the primary factors and the calcium carbonate, which is Portland cement, the key component in concrete, would also control the hardness of the pitch when dry.

Here is another source of info:

I hope this helps you.



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Keith Patton


I can answer questions concerning physical and historical geology, environmental geology/hydrology, environmental consulting, remote sensing/aerial photo interpretation, G&G computer applications, petroleum exploration, drilling, geochemistry, geochemical and microbiological prospecting, 3D reservoir modeling, computer mapping and drilling.I am not a geophysicist.


I have 24 years experience split between the petroleum and environmental industries. I have served as an expert witness in remote sensing, developmental geologist, exploration geologist, enviromental project manager, and subject matter expert in geology and geophysical software development.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists
American Association of Photogrammetrists and Remote Sensing

Bachelor and Master of Science
Registered Geologist in State of Texas

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