Curating the best pitch
WITH undefeated Casino creeping up the LJ Hooker League ladder following a few home-game wins this season, one could be forgiven for thinking wicket curator and Casino batsman Adam Shields could have had something to do with it.
Despite being best batsman of the round last week – with 92 runs at Casino’s Queen Elizabeth Park – Shields laughed off the quirky connection.
“You just get lucky sometimes,” he said.
“It wasn’t that massive, so I wasn’t fazed by it. I just take it as it comes and hopefully there will be more of it to come.”
Following the Cavaliers’ decision to play finals matches at Oakes Oval instead of their home ground last year, it was evident Queen Elizabeth Park needed a revamp.
“It actually needs redoing, but the council doesn’t seem to like spending money on grounds around Casino,” Shields said.
So in the meantime, Shields has the job of making it the best playing surface he can.
“It’s a bit better than last year but it takes a few years to get it to a good wicket,” he said.
“It’s not too bad now but the outfield is a bit dry and rough.
“At least there’s grass on it now and it bounces a bit.”
And despite the obvious advantage of maintaining the ground to suit the team’s batting and bowling styles, Shields said he really just wanted to make the ground good for all teams to play on.
“There’s no advantage, we just know it’s going to bounce,” he said.
As Shields continues to try and improve game play at Queen Elizabeth Park, his team will try to be one of the league’s top two teams and play in the finals.
“Hopefully, if we get into the finals, we will definitely play it there,” he said.