As part of the whole ground re-development in Lancashire C.C.C’s bid to return the famous Old Trafford Ground back to full test match status the existing square had to be re-orientated through 90° and extended. This would bring the direction of play in line with the pavilion and also avoid the low setting sun issues that have been known to cause problems at Old Trafford due to its original orientation.
Having been selected to carry out the project due to our previous experience with cricket square construction and with all systems ready to go immediately on completion of the season, the project was put in hold due to planning objections to the whole ground redevelopment. This redevelopment involved refurbishing and extension of the pavilion, construction of new stands, hospitality suites, hotel and car parking and grounds maintenance facilities.
Being forced to wait for several days whilst planning was finally consented was worrying as the weather window was closing especially for a scheme of this size and high profile, involving over 300 tonnes of loam.
Once the green light was finally received we doubled up on manpower and equipment to ensure the project was completed in as short a time as possible. Lighting rigs were also brought in to enable longer working days.
What the project involved
Excavate and construct 11 new pitches with the new orientation in line with the pavilion. The depth of this construction was over 600mm involving a compacted stone base and specially selected loam provided by Surrey Loams Ltd.
Koro surface and refurbish 5 existing pitches to allow cricket to be played the following season. The new pitches were built around these.
Return areas no longer to be part of the re-located square back to outfield specification using a free – draining Rootzone.
Install a fully automated pop up irrigation system and ducting for stump cameras.