What is the meaning of a Drop-in pitch in cricket and how are these pitches used in the T20 World Cup 2024

What is the meaning of a Drop-in pitch in cricket and how are these pitches used in the T20 World Cup 2024

The drop-in pitch is an integral part of cricket, particularly serving as an alternative to natural cricket grounds, mainly in areas where the sport infrastructure is not up to mark, find out more about it below and the meaning of these pitches

Notably, the ongoing T20 World Cup 2024 will feature the use of several drop-in pitches, as the hosts USA, is not a country that possesses ideal cricketing infrastructure.

Explained what is the meaning of a Drop-in pitch in cricket and how are these pitches used in the T20 World Cup 2024

Since the United States does not have many cricket stadiums, the country uses several drop-in pitches across multiple stadiums.


Drop-in pitch in cricket meaning explored

A drop-in pitch in cricket generally involves a time-tested method of preparing the pitch for a match away from the designated venue before ‘dropping in’ the prepared pitch in the middle ahead of a scheduled match.

Notably, such pitches can take several years for preparation. As such, the ground staff are expected to look after the drop-in-pitch with immense care so that they can sustain it for a few seasons. Once the pitches deteriorate and become unable to be used, they are discarded.

Drop-in pitch origin and history

According to official reports, the first known use of drop-in pitches in cricket was back in the 1970s. John Maley, the curator for the Western Australia Cricket Association (WACA), initially developed it for use during the World Series cricket matches back in the 1970s.

Drop-in pitches manufacturing process

The drop-in pitches are generally prepared in steel frames and involve a deep understanding and a calculated combination of soil, grass and clay. The curators generally have the liberty to curate the pitches according to the needs of the scheduled matches and host stadiums. One setback of such drop-in-pitches is that they are often too flat and do not possess the natural qualities of a traditional pitch.


Drop-in pitches usage

Generally, stadium or venues designed to host multiple sports make use of the drop-in pitches. There are multiple stadiums across Australia and New Zealand that host cricket matches as well as other sports like rugby, football, and hockey. Such stadiums make use of drop-in pitches during the cricket season. Once the matches/season concludes, the management staff removes the pitches to preserve them and works on them for future use.

List of grounds that use drop-in pitches

There are several grounds across different countries that use drop-in-pitches. In New Zealand, Eden Park in Auckland and Westpac Stadium in Wellington use portable drop-in-pitches to host football and rugby matches, besides cricket matches. In Australia, Melbourne Cricket Ground, the Optus Stadium in Perth, and the Adelaide Oval use drop-in pitches.

Over the past few years, the pitches in Pakistan have faced criticism for their lack of quality. As such, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have proposed the use for drop-in pitches at Karachi and Lahore. Lastly, the United States are using several drop-in pitches in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2024, which were curated in Florida.


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