Artificial cricket wickets are a controversial topic in the sports world. Unlike football or rugby where the surface is suited to all players, cricket players bowl and bat in totally different styles therefore one wicket may be suited to one player but not the next. Some cricketers are spin bowlers, some are fast bowlers and the condition of the wicket, whether natural or artificial is totally subjective and down to the preferences of that cricketer.
The player’s opinion of that wicket will come down to the Cricket Turf they are most used to playing on in their home country or club. The clay used on British wickets is totally different from that in India or Australia for example and the attributes are therefore different as well. These variations are huge on natural surface alone but when you throw a synthetic wicket into the equation as well the differences are further amplified.
For the reasons above artificial surfaces are not that common as the main wicket for professional top tier level cricket grounds, they are however commonly used on practise wickets and in practice nets for one major reason and that is the maintenance. Natural cricket wickets are notoriously difficult to maintain, especially to the standards expected of professional players so the answer is to make the practice wickets synthetic.
Synthetic wickets are hard wearing and retain their high level ‘playability’ without a huge amount of maintenance or cost.
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