o Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) has always been at the forefront of adopting and integrating technological advancements into cricket
o Mr. Dhumal praised HPCA for its proactive measures in promoting cricket’s sustainability and giving it the recognition it deserves
o Post the successful implementation of LED flood lights and SIS Air Systems, the hybrid pitch is poised to become a significant catalyst to seal India’s domination in sports across the globe
o The ‘Universal Machine’, used in Dharamshala to install the hybrid surface, was first developed by SISGrass in 2017
o Already successful at Lord’s and The Oval, SISGrass Hybrid Pitches is now set to revolutionise cricket in India

Bengaluru: Monday, 6th May 2024: The Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) Stadium in Dharamshala today witnessed a momentous event. India’s first-ever SISGrass hybrid pitch was unveiled in the presence of Mr. Arun Dhumal, Chairman, Indian Premier League (IPL), Mr. Paul Taylor, former England international cricketer and SIS’s International Cricket Director along with esteemed dignitaries from HPCA.

This development marks a significant milestone in Indian cricket and is expected to impact the quality of the sport played on Indian pitches. The introduction of the SISGrass hybrid pitch stands as a testament to Indian Cricket’s continuous commitment of enhancing the quality of cricket infrastructure, thereby elevating the playing experience for both players and spectators.

Speaking during the unveiling, Mr. Arun Dhumal, Chairman, IPL, said, “I’m thrilled to witness the inauguration of India’s first SISGrass hybrid pitch at the HPCA Stadium in Dharamshala. This remarkable development showcases the progressive spirit that is driving Indian cricket forward. By adopting innovative solutions like the ICC-approved hybrid pitches, we aren’t just ensuring a sustainable future for the sport, but also building another avenue for growth.”

Mr. Dhumal further added: “The HPCA’s relentless commitment to advancements like introducing SISGrass Hybrid Pitches, LED Flood Lights, and the SIS Air System demonstrates their leadership in creating a world-class cricketing infrastructure. Adopting these latest innovations will ensure Indian cricket can seal its position as a global sporting powerhouse, while also setting a template for other countries to follow.”

Mr. Paul Taylor, SIS’s International Cricket Director, said, “We extend our sincere appreciation to the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) for collaborating with us on this pioneering project. We are pleased to announce the successful installation and implementation of hybrid cricket pitches at the iconic Dharamshala Stadium. As a BCCI-approved initiative, this encourages us to set the stage for further explorations of hybrid pitches in Mumbai and Ahmedabad. We aim to expand opportunities that strengthen cricket at the grassroots level for more participation and ensure that our pitches can endure the game’s rigours.”

The unveiling of the SISGrass hybrid pitch is a moment of pride for everyone involved in the development of cricket in India. Such initiatives are crucial for building a stronger foundation for the sport, which is essential for the continued growth of the industry.

SISGrass has invested in India after the International Cricket Council (ICC) allowed the use of hybrid surfaces for T20 and 50-over competitions. Following the successful installation across English cricket grounds, hybrid pitches, approved for T20 and 50-over competitions, will be used for four-day County Championship matches beginning this year.

The ‘Universal Machine’, used in Dharamshala to install the hybrid surface, was first developed by SISGrass in 2017. It injects a small percentage of polymer fibre with the natural turf inside cricket stadiums and pitches. This composition is more resilient to stresses created during play, helps to prolong the life of pitches, guarantees an even bounce, and eases pressure on busy groundskeepers. The completed installations are still predominantly natural grass, with only 5% polymer fibre used. This ensures that the characteristics of an all-natural pitch are maintained.

The ‘Universal Machine’ has already demonstrated its effectiveness in the UK where it was used to install SISGrass at almost every County ground in England, including internationally recognised venues like Lord’s, The KIA Oval, Edgbaston, Emirates Old Trafford and Trent Bridge. The machine will then be moved to Mumbai and Ahmedabad to create more pitches for practice and matches. Once the first three installations are complete, the machine will remain in India and be immediately available to other grounds and facilities as projects are approved.

SISGrass revolutionized the sport of cricket by introducing stitched hybrid wickets, which integrate cutting-edge technology used in elite sports such as football, rugby, tennis, and golf, as well as in renowned leagues including the English Premier League and the NFL. By leveraging the latest advancements in sports technology, SISGrass has demonstrated its commitment to improving the performance and experience of athletes across a range of disciplines, while also fostering a culture of excellence and innovation within the industry.

For more information on SISGrass, visit: https://www.sispitches.com/sports-pitches/hybrid/installation/cricket

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