Middlesex Cricket and the 2G Flicx Pitch

Middlesex Cricket and Flicx UK are working in partnership to boost cricket participation in and around London. Middlesex have identified many different applications for the 2G Flicx Pitch within its programmes including …

  • To create new cricket facilities in clubs and schools by converting grass fields and/or synthetic pitches such as 3G Rubbercrumb’s and Astro’s.
  • To add extra capacity for clubs and schools by hosting Kwik cricket, junior games on the outfield
  • As a more cost effective artificial surface option in nets (vs the cost of a NTP)
  • As a portable solution at events run by the Middlesex Community team where the pitch can be rolled out and taster games played eg: Schools day at Lords, Westminster Mile, Club open days and festivals, in town centres for pop up cricket.

The Middlesex staff involved in this partnership have been so impressed by the Flicx pitches versatility, bounce and pace that they have supported and funded pitches in key areas in the County to help with their objectives. These pitches have been funded both by the Middlesex Cricket Trust and also via Sport England, where due to the portable nature of the product it fits within the small grants scheme criteria.

One of the first schools to receive a funded 2G Flicx Pitch was William Perkins C fo E where Director of Sport and former player Paul Harrison is delighted “The 2G Flicx Pitch will enable us to play cricket where we couldn’t before. It was easy to set up and gives a good playing surface for our students to practice and play matches on, increasing our participation greatly”. The plan is now for further 2G Flicx Pitches at this venue to create a hub which will be accessed by local cricket clubs and the community.

Katie Berry, Director of Participation Middlesex Cricket commented “The versatility of this product allows Middlesex Cricket to take the game to communities where there is poor or low provision of cricket pitches, it also allows us to increase playing sites in London where green space is in high demand and unfortunately reducing! Not only does the 2G Flicx system provide a good playing surface and focal point for participants, it’s also a great coaching aid for beginners and experienced players alike.

We are encouraged and delighted by the positive response from our clubs who have purchased the pitches to ease pressure on existing fine turf and non-turf pitches in the view of increasing participation for all in the County.”

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Warwick School Tournament, Middlesex in the Community and get your game started quicker

Just a few recent images from events involving the 2G Flicx Pitch to share…

Warwick School cricket festival

Warwick School cricket festival was a massive success. Flicx UK were very happy to help facilitate the many 8 over matches on the outfield using our blue 2G Flicx 10m batting ends. The format allowed for softball cricket in the morning then hardball cricket in the afternoon (the new 2G Flicx pitch makes it possible to use both types of balls). To use the 2G Flicx Pitch on your outfield, you simply need to cut the grass down short (10-15mm) then roll the pitch out on top.

Warwick School used their two 2G Flicx Skills batting ends for 2 of the matches, whilst Flicx brought two additional blue batting ends for the other games.

Middlesex in the Community

In recent weeks the Middlesex participation team have been out and about using their Pinky’s Pavillion 2G Flicx Pitch at various events, laid on various under surfaces. Events have included the Middlesex Schools day at Lord’s, Allstar’s Cricket at the Westminster Mile and most recently at a pop up event in Hounslow town centre. Not only is the pitch versatile and portable, but it also adds alot of fun and excitement to the Middlesex events programme with the coaching tiles, helping to focus the attention of bowlers when pitching the ball.

Product Development

New upgraded 1/4 2G tiles in the crease has made a big difference in terms of the speed the 2G Flicx Pitch settles. The pitch now settles in half the time and flattens instantly allowing games to commence faster than previously. We recommend you lay the pitch an hour before use although the condition of the under surface and the weather will both impact on how quickly it reaches optimum pace and bounce.

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William Perkin host their first ever game of cricket thanks to Middlesex funding

Sky Sport’s Hayley McQueen officially opened William Perkin schools new £2m sports facilities including a 3G Artificial Grass Pitch (AGP) and state of the art sports pavilion. The school located in the London borough of Ealing is itself only four years old and sits on the former GSK sports area. The project which was masterminded by headmaster Keir Smith who has created a local hub of sporting excellence for the community with funding from Sport England, The Football Foundation, Middlesex CCC and Ealing LA as well as generous donations from school governors.

Cricket matches had never been hosted at the school prior to the purchase of a 2G Flicx Pitch which was part funded by Middlesex Cricket. Now the football field has been converted into a cricket venue, much to the delight of pupils, and the process was as simple as cutting the grass down really short (getting rid of the thatch in this particular surface) and then rolling out the 2G Flicx Pitch.

Director of Sport and former player Paul Harrison is delighted with the result “The 2G Flicx Pitch will enable us to play cricket where we couldn’t before. It was easy to set up and gives a good playing surface for our students to practice and play matches on, increasing our participation greatly”.

Whilst for Middlesex Cricket they are achieving their objective of creating more cricket facilities in the London area where typically suitable sporting spaces are at a premium so the versatile,portable cricket surface solution supplied by Flicx UK is vital.

In order to maximise participation throughout the calendar year, William Perkin is embarking on an ambitious second phase of this project. In partnership with Middlesex County Cricket Club, the vision is to create a centre for state school cricket, a hub for local primary school children to experience cricket and a base to be used by Middlesex Womens’ Cricket.

Keir Smith, said: “Phase two – the cricket centre – requires funding in the region of £100,000, so William Perkin has submitted funding bids to the ECB, The London Marathon Charitable Trust, The Heathrow Community Fund and the School Governors. We remain hopeful of securing the funding required to provide the school, and local community, with first class football and cricket facilities.”

To read the William Perkin school press release about their new sports facilities opening event (click here) or for more information about how the 2G Flicx Pitch can help create additional facilities for your club or school, contact one of our team by calling 01295 816765 or email our Business Development Manager Ashley Appleby (ash@flicx.com) or Request a Quote.

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How to convert spare grass fields into cricket pitches

If you are looking to create additional cricket capacity for your club or school and you have a grass field that is traditionally used for rugby or football during the winter, then the 2G Flicx Pitch could be your solution.

This was the exact predicament for Windsor Boys school, where their cricket programme had outgrown the number of turf wickets available on site for matches and practice. With the grass cut down short in the middle, (rolling would be beneficial too), a 2G Flicx Pitch was rolled out on top and a new facility created. The pictures below show senior boys who are all club cricketers playing a game on the 2G Flicx Pitch and you can see how the bowlers have good purchase off the surface and there is excellent pace and bounce.

Convert a Grass field into a cricket pitch

This application is the most popular application of our pitch especially in countries like the UK, New Zealand, the USA and Australia. In Australia it could be AFL ovals being converted and in New Zealand at the moment, cricket facilities are at a premium so this method of converting grass fields is very popular.

The benefit of the new 2G Flicx Pitch product is that is multi purpose so the same pitch seen here can then be rolled up after the game and used in the nets (both grass and on synthetic surfaces), or split in the middle to create two batting ends for junior Kwik cricket or then used inside for winter nets or on the playground or concrete surfaces too. This versatility gives great value for money for the customer and means cricket can be taken to new audiences which is especially important given the popularity of T20 cricket and the need for more informal cricket options.

Schools or clubs with capacity issues now have a solution that is easy to create and virtually maintenance free. We would recommend the pitch is rolled up after each game and just rolled out an hour before the game to give it time to settle and for the tiles feet to mould to the under surface. If you could give more details on this application and its suitability for your requirements, feel free to give one of our pitch advisers a call on 01295 816765.

Applications of the 2G Flicx Pitch

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Pitching In … Our take on recent developments in the structure of youth cricket

Cricket is undoubtedly changing. Day/night test matches, a £1.7m fee for Ben Stokes at the IPL auction, flashing stumps and big sponsors but perhaps the biggest changes in the game currently are occurring globally at grass roots levels. In the UK, the ECB has just launched All Star’s Cricket (a mass participation program providing children aged five to eight with a great first experience in cricket) whilst down under Cricket Australia has just announced some major changes to their junior game formats following a successful nationwide pilot program where children played on shorter pitches in smaller teams.

“The changes provide more appropriate game formats, pitch length and number of players on the field for children at various stages of their development and experience,” said former national captain Belinda Clark.

The obvious aim of these initiatives is to boost participation; but at the same time, we see much more strain on facilities with clubs replying – “great but where are they going to play”. Some clubs cannot easily accommodate more juniors and you all too frequently hear of housing developments on playing fields and there has been a rise in the popularity of all weather, synthetic pitches for football and rugby. The cost, time and expertise to maintain a turf wicket are considerable and so it’s no surprise that the popularity of wickets such as the 2G Flicx Pitch has rapidly grown in recent seasons, coinciding with the advent of our new and improved tile which makes the pitch more versatile with good pace and bounce on a range of under-surfaces. Furthermore, our new multi age pitch means that you can used the same pitch for adults, colts and juniors just by moving the stumps from 20.12 to 18.12 to 16.12 metres (something that can be applied to new Australia pitch lengths too).

Converting grass fields which are typically rugby or football fields into cricket pitches for the season is a popular application whilst we are also seeing clubs laying the 2G Flicx Pitch on old or worn astro strips to give them a new lease of life. The cost of our portable 2G Flicx Pitch solution vs an average NPT is 1/3 so it’s really a no brainer in terms of adding additional playing and training capacity more cost effectively plus the surfaces last for years. One match pitch can be moved by one person using our safety trolley and then easily split into two batting ends which can be laid on the outfield for Kwik cricket. Preparation time is shortly and maintenance minimal and the softer 2G tile offers excellent grip and good seam and spin performance.

In our busy lives, statistics are saying that we no longer have time to give up our whole Sunday to play cricket and shorter formats of the game are becoming more popular or more informal cricket utilising different spaces for example on beaches, playgrounds and car parks. Having taken cricket to the top of Mt Kilimanjaro, the 2G Flicx Pitch really is a product that means you can play anywhere. Likewise, bright colours and branding options are helping to attract and retain kids in the sport, whilst developing their batting and bowling skills with visual targets. Perhaps the day when we see a T20 game taking place on an artificial wicket isn’t too far away after all and hopefully it’s something that the traditionalist will in time be able to embrace as the future success of the game, could depend on it.

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Use a 2G Flicx Pitch to protect your main square & extend the cricket season

Do any of these problems sound familiar??

  • You lose games at the start of the season as the main square is not yet ready (generally weather related)
  • Throughout the season, your main square badly deteriorates due to overuse
  • Bad weather can hamper pitch preparation by your groundsman which is time consuming and costly
  • Your main square is unsafe to use, early on in the season
Bute 2

The weather maybe bad, but you can still play cricket

These are common problems for clubs in the UK, and this is where the versatility of the 2G Flicx Pitch really comes into its own. If your main square is not ready, you can just roll a 2G Flicx Pitch out over your square and train or play pre-season games all without damage to the surface underneath. Likewise the pitch can be rolled out next to your main square. All of this means less work for your ground-staff and less preparation time such as line painting.

Clubs with multiple teams, may wish to save their main square for the first team and the 2G Flicx Pitch is a great match and training surface. When laid on a firm, flat surface, you will get a great bounce and spin and seam too.

Even when the weather is damp, the 2G Flicx Pitch still performs … we even have clubs up in Scotland, using the pitch to extend their season and reduce the number of games being called off. This same pitch can also be used during the closed season for winter nets, on an Astroturf or Rubbercrumb to add extra facilities or zipped and split into batting ends for junior matches or Kwik cricket on your outfield. All these applications give you great value for money and the price of a 2G Flicx Pitch compares very favourably against other “artificials” with additional benefits such as the portability and versatility factors.

“Bute maintains its own ground but has always fought an unsuccessful battle against the heavy rainfall the island receives which had frustratingly led to the postponement of many fixtures over the years. All this changed in 2014 however when the club purchased a 2G Flicx wicket which has completely transformed the clubs facility situation to the extent that there were no rain affected cancellations in 2015. Practice was held every week on the clubs 2G Flicx wicket and it was even used it for the inaugural Bute beach cricket festival. Furthermore the league Bute County CC is affiliated too, the Western District Cricket Union (WDCU) approved the pitch trial and its suitability for hosting league matches.”

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Download our new 2G Flicx Pitch brochure for 2017/18

The 2G Flicx Pitch is the world’s most versatile, portable, cricket pitch solution suitable for adult or junior cricket, matches or training played both inside or outside. We now manufacture the pitch right here in the UK and the specially formulated synthetic compound has more rubber in the moulded tile making it softer and malleable to touch, which is great for British conditions and offers good pace and bounce when used on a firm flat surface. All the information you need about the products performance is contained in our new 2017 brochure (Click Here to download)

Click the image to download

The 2G Flicx pitch can therefore be used on various surfaces including:

  • Grass (football/rugby fields, parks and open grassed areas) – cut grass short and roll pitch out
  • 3G Astro synthetic fields (easily convert a hockey astroturf field into a cricket venue within minutes)
  • Refurbish old/worn astro cricket nets and NTP’s that are dead and need resurfacing
  • Asphalt tennis courts
  • School playgrounds (the batting end can be used here for informal cricket play and PE lessons)
  • Indoor gymnasiums and school halls
  • Beach cricket

The 2G Flicx Match Pitch is unique in that it can be used not only for matches but when unzipped back into two half pitch batting ends, clubs can use for junior games on the outfield, refurbishment of old nets or taken indoors for winter nets and practice. Flicx UK offer various colours and coaching designs as well as the option to add a sponsor’s logo onto the pitch. CLICK HERE to learn more about the pitches suitability for your needs and to DOWNLOAD our NEW 2017 Brochure full of case studies and information.

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Introducing the NEW 2G Flicx multi-aged pitch (MAP) for schools and clubs

Flicx UK are delighted to roll out a new product for the 2017/2018 season, the 2G Flicx Multi-Aged-Pitch (MAP). The MAP pitch is specifically aimed at schools and clubs who need a match pitch that can cater for different age groups. With this new product coaches can move the stumps according to the colour coded creases demarcated for the various age groups to change the pitch size from 20.12m to 18.12m or even 16.12m depending on which team is playing or practising. The MAP pitch also has an additional 1m section behind both sets of wickets, this is of great benefit to bowlers who are now on the pitch in their delivery stride.

Feedback is suggesting that the 2G Flicx MAP pitch will solve capacity issues for clubs and you have the value derived from only purchasing one pitch for all your age groups. Versatility is the key point here and our 2G Flicx Pitch can be roll out on grass, astro, concrete, beaches or pretty much any firm, flat surface to convert it into a cricketing venue. The new 2G tile also performs very well indoors and with each pitch coming in two rolls, your 2G Flicx Pitch can also be easily zipped apart to create 2 batting ends for the nets or kwik cricket on your outfield, again increasing your capacity and enabling more cricket to be played.

Speaking about the new pitch, Flicx UK’s business development manager Ashley Appleby commented “This new product is really going to tick a lot of boxes for many clubs and schools. It gives clubs and schools even more versatility than ever before to use a 2G Flicx pitch for multiple age groups without any additional preparation time. Time and cost savings will help cricket masters and coaches, spend more time developing their players skills so that can only be a good thing”

Flicx are taking orders now for the new cricket season; for a bespoke quote for your club or school simply complete a quote request form or call one of our advisers on 01295 816765 with any questions on the 2G Flicx Pitches suitability for your requirements.

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Rajasthan invests in 70 2G Flicx Batting Ends to help cricket flourish

The Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) led by the President Mr. LALIT KUMAR MODI (Founder & Architect of INDIAN PREMIER LEAGUE) aspires to embed cricket into the culture and passion of the people of Rajasthan and spread it to all 33 districts, no mean feat given it’s amongst the largest state in India and equivalent in size to the United Kingdom!

A senior tournament played on a 2G Flicx Pitch in DHOLPUR

Prior to the purchase of 70 2G Flicx batting ends, across two orders in 2016, facilities across (17 to 20 Districts) Rajasthan were minimal and of poor quality, particularly in remote areas so talent was unable to be developed and nurtured. The RCA have now issued two Batting Ends, which can zip together at the middle and form a full 2G Flicx Match Pitch, to each districts to utilise to create a local hub of excellence. Of those 33 districts, over half did not have any existing turf facilities so typically only matting was used so now with the arrival of the 2G Flicx Pitches, players and coaches alike have a surface which feels much more authentic and genuine. In these developing areas, more participation is possible and the game is already started to significantly grow in popularity after just a couple of months of using 2G Flicx Pitches.

The President RCA Mr. Lalit Kumar Modi insisted that we have a look at the ICC Dubai Academy. So, RCA Treasurer Pawan Goyal along with RCA Secretary Sumendra Tiwari first spotted the 2G Flicx Pitches on a trip to the ICC Academy in Dubai; at the time they were rolled up on their ends being stored but Goyal immediately spoke to key figures at the ICC about how they use the product in their development programmes and saw a huge opportunity for the pitches to be used to support the objectives of the RCA in helping the game to flourish. Price was a key consideration for the RCA board and a 2G Flicx Pitch can typically be delivered for 1/3 of the cost of turf wickets in India but other important benefits for Goyal and his colleagues included…

  • Zero maintenance costs
  • Durability; Flicx pitches have a very long life span so no need to replace frequently
  • All weather surface – can even be used if it’s raining
  • The ability to roll them up after matches to store them safely
  • To take cricket to places where it’s not possible to curate turf wickets

The 2G Flicx Pitches, all hand made in the UK, are each used on a daily basis for both adult and junior cricket. All the reports from RCA districts have been highly positive and everyone has found the wickets very comfortable for practice sessions in the nets (where they are split into Batting Ends) and also for matches where they are typically converting open areas into cricket fields. Already there are more people playing cricket and each location typically attracts up to 200 to 250 players per day. More importantly, competition is now possible and much more practical to administer with the state championship games taking place on a “level playing field”.

Goyal is confident that the 2G Flicx Pitch can play a big role in developing new cricket facilities across India be it in partnership with other State Cricket Associations, in districts or by schools looking to create new training zones.

“I see big potential for Flicx in India and other countries where new facilities need to be created in a cost effective way. We are really happy with how our pitches stationed across Rajasthan are performing and think there will be a huge appetite for this roll out concept, in other states too. We are happy to help more people play cricket on a surface which performs really well in subcontinent conditions and it really gives our young players the best possible start to their cricketing journeys”.

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Are winter net facilities leaving you stumped??

For many cricket enthusiasts, January see’s the start of preparations for the new cricket season with many heading indoors for winter nets. For many clubs and indoor venues such as school sportshall’s, the 2G Flicx Pitch can provide a value for money, facility upgrade and the pitch performance is far superior compared to heavy, synthetic mats often used.

Upgraded cricket facilities at Warwick School

The benefits of using the 2G Flicx Pitch Indoors

  • Increased ball bounce for slower bowlers (and it takes spin too)
  • The pitch has great longevity – and doesn’t need replacing yearly like synthetic mats
  • The 2G Flicx Pitch can be rolled up and stored on their ends which frees up space
  • Rolls out flat without any waves so again you can be sure of a consistent bounce and a safe surface on which to train
  • Customers can choose from either a traditional green batting end OR a coaching design to develop skills of younger players
  • Schools and clubs can add their branding to the 2G Flicx Pitch OR a sponsors logo can be added to help you fund the purchase

The photo’s above were taken by Simon Francis, Master in charge of Cricket at Warwick School. Warwick School purchased two 2G Flicx Skills batting ends at the end of 2016 to roll out over their sprung sportshall floor. For the first time, they were able to host the district trials and Francis has noticed a big improvement in the quality of their programme.

“The 2G Flicx skills pitch has been a fantastic addition for our cricketers for their winter training. Both batters and bowlers have benefited from more visual cues and targets, both individually and against each other. For our coaches it creates lots of opportunities to create challenges for bowlers and batsmen, as well as making it easier to judge where the ball pitched more easily. It has created excitement for the young bowlers as something new and interesting to interact with. We are looking forward to using these for our practices and cricket matches in the summer”

With Flicx being the world’s most versatile cricket pitch, the same pitch that you use indoors during the winter, can also be used outside in the summer. Link two matting ends together to create a full pitch or lay them on the outfield to increase your junior capacity. Roll them out in the nets or on an artificial pitch to convert it into a cricketing venue – the options are vast and very little preparation and maintenance is required.

 

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