Now, its the turn of cricket turfs
KOCHI: Artificial turfs are now a common sight in Kochi, thanks to the football fervour ignited by Indian Super League (ISL). The mushrooming of such turfs went on to become a fad, prompting many to take to the beautiful game.
However, things are no longer restricted to football alone. With these turfs turning into a successful business model, now it is the turn of cricket turfs to take over the city.
The introduction of multi-use turf by Parkway, a recreational sports centre based in Kalamassery, has helped many to reclaim their love for cricket. Multi-use turfs allow multiple games to be played on the same turf.
“People moved to football turfs due to unavailability of grounds. Cricket needs even more space and that is one reason why the sport was down. So, we thought why not bring a system where both games can be played on the same turf,” says Sariga Venugopal, sales head, Parkway. The move has been a huge success. “Bookings are now more for cricket. The highlight of the court is that it is roofed. So, people can play during heavy rain too. Though the court timings are from 5 am-11 pm, people can book the court even after that,” she adds.The turf is designed for sevens cricket. However, a maximum of 10 players can be
accommodated in each team. “When the turf is booked for cricket, the goalposts are shifted to the corners of the court. Then a rubber mat interlocked on fly wood is laid on the turf which serves as the pitch. The mat provides even bounce and medium tennis ball is used for the game,” says Yedu Lal, manager, Parkway.
People can book the turf for cricket at `2,000 for off-peak hours (8 am-5 pm) and `2,500 for peak hours. According to Sariga, weekends see a huge rush. They get around eight bookings on weekends. Most are from IT and corporate companies.
“Most of the IT companies are now promoting more sports and games for bettering the health of their employees. So many of the companies book the court for a month and they mostly play after 7 or 8 pm. Early morning hours and late-night hours are peak hours. Some teams love to play cricket till 4 am,” says Sariga.
They had also conducted a turf cricket tournament last month and around 24 teams from the state participated.