DESPITE the end of the cricket season still over a month away, the square at Dick Edwards Oval is already in the process of being replaced.
In a big win for Tamworth District Cricket, Tamworth City Council has been given a government grant to put in five new squares around the city.
Tamworth president Richard Bullock said the plan was to do five wickets over five years.
A company from Sydney has been called in to remove the old square and replace it with a new top grade surface.
Whilst the cricket season is yet to hit the finals, the work had to start early due to weather conditions.
“We had to let them start a bit early because it is best to do it at this time of year,” Bullock said.
“They need the extra bit of warmth to promote grass growth before the cold weather kicks in.”
Bullock is hoping that No 1 Oval will be done in the near future, although having the TAFL season starting so soon causes scheduling problems.
“The pitch is a bit lower at No 1 so when it rains, the water still runs under the covers.”
“When it is redone, hopefully they can lift the square a bit as well to avoid that.”
Over a metre of soil depth has been stripped out of the square before it is replaced with different layers and then the surface restored.
Another bonus from the work will be automatic irrigation systems implemented into the entire field.
Currently the wicket has pop-up sprinklers but, after the upgrade, the entire field will be covered, much like the softball fields.
“Full credit to council for getting the grants and work done,” Bullock said.
“It is great for Tamworth cricket.”
In the meantime, Riverside 2 will be used for first grade games, with second grade going to Riverside 3, and third grade moving to a synthetic surface.