Bert Sutcliffe Oval will host its first match of the summer on Tuesday when the New Zealand A side take on India A in the first encounter of the series.
The teams will face off in three ODIs, one three-day match and a four-day match, all of which will be played out at the Lincoln University.
It will mark the beginning of a busy summer of cricket at Lincoln this summer, with over 100 matches scheduled to be played between now and March.
Turf Manager Alan Gilmour is confident that everything will be ready, but admits that he and his fellow groundsmen have had their hands full and haven’t been helped by some extraordinary winter weather.
“In total 22 pitches are under preparation for the upcoming series and other training requirements. We’re fortunate that the Canterbury climate generally plays ball and allows for cricket to be played early season on quality natural surfaces,” said Gilmour.
“Five inches of rain in August though was certainly challenging and meant that the main cricket block and two training blocks have had to be covered for long periods.
“Thankfully the mild weather over the last couple of weeks has given us the opportunity to fertilise and condition the grass.
“We’re happy now with how the pitches are coming up.”
Having spent over 10 years working at the facility, there is no doubt Gilmour knows exactly what he’s talking about. He admits that the prospect of finally getting to see the pitch put to use again excites him.
“The pitches at Lincoln University play very well with consistent pace and bounce so fingers crossed it should allow for some quality entertaining cricket,” he said.
“This is an opportunity to come and relax and enjoy the surroundings at Bert Sutcliffe Oval, whilst taking in some cricket action from the rising international stars of both India and New Zealand.”
Entry to all matches is free of charge.
India A in New Zealand schedule: http://www.blackcaps.co.nz/schedule/new-zealand-a-v-india-a/136/series.aspx