A CLUB in the ENCO Halifax League that is partial to flooding have become the first cricket club in the north east of England to trial a stitched hybrid pitch.

Sowerby Bridge were chosen for this endeavour by the ECB, who are looking at how hybrid pitches, which have been used in the county game since 2017, can transfer into the recreational game.

The installation was undertaken by SIS Grass UK, and the closest other club in the North of England to Sowerby Bridge are in Cumbria, but other clubs in England and Wales are also taking part.

The pitch at Sowerby Bridge, perhaps chosen for their vulnerability to flooding, will be used for several league or cup matches to establish whether it is possible to increase the number of games it can withstand.

Sowerby Bridge CC chairman Stephen Jordan said: “We were delighted when we were approached by ECB facilities planning manager Suzanne Redfern to be part of this test – a much appreciated plus from all the trials and tribulations we have had in recent years.

“To be honest, we hope the rainfall part of the test does not include flood water.

‘We believe our selection shows how much the profile of the Halifax League has risen in recent times.

“The pitch has another four weeks to bed in so we are planning to first use it in mid-May.

“Its maintenance is hardly any different to that of a standard [itch, other than the cutting is done with blades at 6mm rather than the usual 5mm to avoid any damage to the technology.

‘Once in use we will be seeking feedback from all players and officials who are involved in a match on it, and all will be collated as part of a report.”