Cricket fans will recall the India-Aus ODI in Kochi last year that was cancelled because of a soggy outfield from the previous day’s rain. A few days later, the Goa fixture of the same teams was cancelled. Reason: Rain until the previous day. But what frustrates players, fans, administrators, sponsors - pretty much the entire nation - is that on the match-day, there was NO rain and yet there was NO play.
Well, finally here is the solution to this problem. SubAir of USA has introduced a sub-surface vacuum powered drainage system that can rapidly suction out standing water from below the grass surface enabling quick resumption of play. This acts almost 5-6 times faster compared to the current gravity-based drainage systems.
Anil Kumar, MD of Great Sports Infra, who provide the SubAir solution in the SAARC region says, “With more than Rs.30 Crores going into each game by way of TV rights, sponsorships, in-stadia advertisement, gate collections and all other administrative costs, postponing or cancelling a game when it is not actually raining at that moment is unacceptable. Millions of fans are disappointed too. Especially in the shorter formats like ODIs and T-20s, there is no possibility of waiting for many hours for the outfield to dry”.
“With a packed cricket calendar, there will be more playing days and some of these spilling into the monsoons. And rain affecting a match will become more common. Everyone understands that when it rains, it is an act of God…but once it stops raining, it will be inexcusable to delay or cancel a game due to a wet outfield. This high-tech solution from SubAir will ensure rapid water evacuation and fastest possible re-start of the game”.
SubAir – a technology with over 10 patents - has been very successfully used across many stadiums and championship golf courses across the world. It also enables air-exchange in the root zone to promote deeper roots and healthier grass thereby improving playability. The result is world-class sports turf that would compare favorably with the best cricket outfields in Australia or England!
This solution will be technologically far superior and less expensive than even the famed drainage system at Lords. And it is a one-time investment.
As stadiums need to use the facility for non-sports events like music concerts which requires the grass to be covered, the air-injection system ensures that the grass underneath the covers continues to get the required oxygen and therefore prevent damage.
Currently in most fields, there is no scientific measurement of actionable data related to humidity, temperature, moisture content etc., and corrective action based on such data. The SubAir system acquires such data from all over the field through embedded wireless sensors, and then the system takes appropriate corrective action.
A network of pipes deep under the grass act as the conduit for collection of water as well as for air to be pumped upwards. The channeled water then passes through an air-water separator and can be recycled.
The aeration that the system provides, enables fresh oxygen to be circulated, stimulates microbial activity and removes harmful gases. The icing on the cake is that in the hot and humid conditions, this air exchange helps reduce the surface temperature by as much as 5°.
So, finally here’s the technology that the cricket world is desperately waiting for. So the next time you hear of a quick resumption of play even after heavy rains, you know the SubAir technology is at work to get the game going.
Source: SubAir press release