In a significant development for the sport of cricket in India, Dharamshala Cricket Stadium has introduced the nation’s inaugural hybrid pitch. This innovative pitch, blending natural turf with synthetic fibers, promises enhanced durability and consistent performance, setting a new standard for cricket surfaces across the country.

Leading the charge in this groundbreaking initiative is Arun Dhumal, Chairman of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and Director of the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA). Dhumal, speaking at a press conference, underscored the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) commitment to modernizing cricket infrastructure nationwide, signalling a progressive era for the sport.

The hybrid pitch’s resilience against adverse weather conditions, particularly heavy rainfall prevalent in the Dharamshala region, is a standout feature. Equipped with an advanced sub-air system, the pitch boasts rapid drying capabilities, ensuring minimal disruption to gameplay and maintaining optimal conditions for matches.

Paul Taylor, Director of SIS International Cricket and former England cricketer, praised the collaborative efforts driving this pioneering project. Drawing from his wealth of experience in international cricket, Taylor highlighted the transformative impact of hybrid pitches on player performance and the overall quality of the game.

The introduction of India’s first hybrid pitch marks a significant milestone, aligning the nation with global cricketing standards seen in iconic venues like Lord’s and The Oval in England. With just 5% synthetic fibers, the pitch retains the essential characteristics of natural turf, preserving the integrity and spirit of the game.

Looking ahead, plans are underway to expand the adoption of hybrid pitches beyond Dharamshala, with installations slated for major cricketing hubs such as Mumbai and Ahmedabad. Endorsed by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for T20 and one-day international matches, hybrid pitches are poised to redefine cricketing standards on a national scale.

Facilitated by the innovative ‘Universal Machine’ developed by SISGrass in 2017, the installation of hybrid surfaces represents a landmark achievement in cricketing history.