BENGALURU: The Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) has generally been early adopters of technology in the country. Going one up, the association that has its own cricket league series has installed the first drainage system on a cricket field at the famed Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru. The KSCA bigwigs say that the system is next-generation subsurface aeration and vacuum-powered drainage system from SubAir, USA at Chinnaswamy Stadium (Bangalore), making it the first ever installation of such a technology for cricket stadiums worldwide.
KSCA VP Sudhakar Rao said, “This is KSCA’s latest project in our constant endeavor to introduce cutting edge technologies in the interest of the game and the fans. 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. With this high-tech solution from SubAir, fastest resumption of the game is now possible.”
“Match called off / delayed at Chinnaswamy Stadium due to wet outfield”. This headline which appeared quite often will soon be a thing of the past. Welcome to the next-generation cricket outfield say the officials. A demonstration involving a small section of the field with about 5,000 litres of water showed the drainage system drain off the water in less than a minute. SubAir is looking at ways to minimise due once day-night test matches start.
KSCA spokesperson Vinay Mruthyunjaya said, “This technology makes tremendous economic and financial sense for KSCA and many games will be saved in the future”.
The system at about Rs 5 crore is not too expensive when one considers the crores of rupees that include television ad and other revenues that are lost due to just one match being called off due to wet outfields. Probably just the entry ticket revenue of a couple of matches will be enough to pay off for complete installation including revamping of the field.
KSCA VP Sanjay Desai further added, “Fan experience is our primary objective. Additionally, there is a risk of Rs 80-100 crore (US$ 12-15 Million) when a game gets washed out including losses to the paying public, the TV Broadcasters and advertisers, in-stadia advertisers etc. We believe we have addressed this challenge with the SubAir System”.
Great Sports Infra managing director Anil Kumar said, “We are glad to provide the SubAir aeration and water evacuation technology to KSCA, which will make it the most modern outfield in the cricketing world. Considering that millions of dollars are at risk when a match gets cancelled due to a wet outfield, KSCA has shown great vision in pioneering the use of this next generation technology. Many other cricket stadiums are now interested in adopting the same for their modernization plans.”
SubAir Sr VP Kevin Crowe said, “SubAir has proven itself across various sports like Baseball, Soccer, Rugby, Golf etc. This system is used at some of the best stadiums worldwide including Wembley (UK), New York Mets, Seattle Mariners, BMO Field (Canada), Etihad Stadium (Manchester City) etc., and has over 500 installations. It has also been used for the NFL, 2014 FIFA World Cup (Brazil) and would also be in use in the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Russia (2018).”
Currently there is no scientific measurement of actionable data related to salinity, temperature and moisture content. The SubAir system acquires data from all over the field through embedded wireless sensors and then takes appropriate corrective action keeping the field healthy and in optimal conditions, fostering stronger roots and turf.