Report on a second inspection visit to the new Évrange cricket ground
Present: B. Rouse, B. Lougheed, D. Crowther
Following an unprecedentedly long and difficult hay harvest period, the new cricket ground at Évrange was finally used for the first time on Saturday and Sunday, 21 and 22 July 2007. The authors of this report were present on the two days, as players or umpires.
By and large, the hopes expressed in the previous report were fulfilled, and the fears were allayed.
- The pitch played reasonably reliably. There was some erratic bounce (high rather than low), but playing conditions for batsmen were not dangerous. Previous experience of other pitches suggests that this will improve the more the pitch is used.
- The outfield was less bumpy than had been feared. Ground fielding was not unreasonably dangerous, while powerful ground shots ran true to the boundary (slope permitting).
The Évrange ground cannot of course bear comparison with Walferdange: the dimensions are smaller, the slope is greater, and the overall atmosphere is more rural. Évrange, though, has a definite charm and is, in the opinion of the inspectors, already an adequate setting for friendly games and for Luxembourg and corporate league games. It can only get better with time, given regular maintenance – in the main, cutting and rolling.
The main problem on the inspection weekend proved to be not the state of the pitch or the outfield, but the number of balls lost, and the time spent searching for lost balls, along two of the boundaries. A relatively small investment in rudimentary catch-fencing would be very worthwhile. (It was noted that netting had previously been installed but had been accidentally destroyed by the farmer).
In sum, the inspectors would like to congratulate all involved in the development work on the Évrange ground. Compared with many other grounds in mainland Europe, it is a very presentable and serviceable arena. The main challenge now will be to establish a sustainable regime for improving, maintaining and running the facility.
Our recommendation is that it be declared playable for all cricket below the level of the Belgian League (even though Belgian league and even European tournament games have certainly been played on worse fields). This does not exclude the possibility of using it at higher levels in the future. We certainly believe that by 2009, given the necessary attention, it will be suitable for use in a European junior tournament.