Pitch the ‘ultimate’ for players

Spade work . . . Preparing a new cricket pitch at Gore’s Hamilton Park are (from left) Southland Country Country junior cricket president Hamish Ottrey and cricket groundsmen Alan and Barry Ritchie. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

A new grass cricket pitch is being laid at Hamilton Park.

The work is being completed in time for a year 8 boys cricket tournament being hosted by the Southland Country Cricket sub association.

Country junior cricket president Hamish Ottrey said there were eight teams coming for the tournament and if there was another pitch that would make four pitches.

‘‘The kids can play on grass which is the ultimate and what you want them doing. We’ve got the back-up of the artificials.’’

The teams were coming from as far away as Timaru and would play from January 9 to 11.

In the past, year seven and eight players had taken part in the tournament.

‘‘They’re not having the big tournaments any more — they’re are just localising them.

‘‘It’s all about giving more cricketers the opportunity to play at a slightly higher level of cricket.’’

The year 7 tournament would be held in Timaru.

Hamilton Park was a great venue for the tournament because there was room to play all the cricket there, he said.

Groundsmen Alan and son Barry Ritchie will supervise the preparation of the pitch.

Southland Country Cricket would also host the Southland Hawke Cup team’s game against the Otago under-19 team at Hamilton Park at the end of October.