Test Match Sofa
Edgbaston drainage not at fault for washouts
By Paul Bolton, County News Correspondent
Warwickshire chief executive Colin Povey believes that the high number of blank days at Edgbaston this season are down to severe weather conditions rather than faults with the Test ground’s £750,000 drainage system and state-of-the-art outfield.
Nine complete days have been lost to rain at Edgbaston in less than six weeks, providing new head groundsman Gary Barwell with a soggy introduction to Birmingham.
The most recent washout came on Saturday, when the third day of Warwickshire’s LV= County Championship match against Sussex was abandoned at noon with standing water across the outfield at the Pavilion End.
Barwell and his staff worked hard throughout Saturday, forking and spiking the surface to ensure the puddles drained away, and their efforts were rewarded with a full day’s play on Sunday during which Warwickshire collected a full hand of bonus points plus three for the draw to go top of the table again.
Povey believes that there is nothing wrong with the new drains, which were laid less than 18 months ago, and that compaction of the new sand-based outfield following several weeks of water hogging is the cause of the problems.
“There are a couple of areas that we need to look at, one just off the edge of the square on the Pershore Road side and another down in the corner at the Pavilion End towards the Eric Hollies Stand,” Povey said.
“Both of those areas improved after the groundstaff spiked them to open them up on Saturday and so I think that it’s probably a result of compaction from running the soppers over them in recent weeks.
“I think a lot of this is down to the volume of water we have had in the past six weeks or so. The weather has been absolutely horrendous. I’m probably a bit more relaxed about the situation than Gary and you have got to have a lot of sympathy for the guy.
“It’s his first season here and he’s spent the last six weeks with his galoshes on non-stop. We know what the spec was for the drainage system, it was signed off by the world and his wife but the volume of water we have had recently has just been horrendous.”
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