Ireland is to get an international cricket ground under a joint venture between Malahide Cricket Club and Fingal County Council.
Work has just begun in and around the exisiting Cricket Ground in Malahide Castle. The ground, due for completion in 2012 will have capacity for 12,000 spectators and be capable of hosting international matches, and will be built in line with International Cricket Council specifications.
Cricket Ireland have worked with Malahide on the project and have committed to staging international matches at the ground once it is up and running. The development of a new outfield and grass banking that will accommodate the vast majority of the crowd, will double the size of the ground to 17,000 square metres.
The club were granted council-owned land on the Malahide Castle Estate known as the Lady Acre, with the present boundary wall removed to facilitate the ground development.
Part of a 700,000 euros project at Malahide Cricket Club in North Dublin to create the Republic of Ireland’s only international-standard cricket ground and the ‘home of Irish cricket’. Once complete, Malahide will become the only international ground for any sport in the North Dublin area, and it is envisaged the project will help inject some 1.5m euros into the future economy as it attracts international fixtures and teams such as Australia, England and Pakistan travelling to play at the new facility.
TTS was recommended to lead the the grounds design and construction by the ICC, which acted in an advisory role, whilst funding for the project included a substantial grant from the Irish government.
At the time of writing, the last feature of the first phase, which involved the construction of an 11-pitch international standard square in the outfield of Malahide CC’s existing ground, had been completed in autumn 2009. July 2011 saw the start of the second phase of the project, which covered outfield works including grading, the installation of primary and secondary drainage systems and ducting for the cabling that will be required for TV coverage of international matches.
The construction of the One Day International Ground is now complete in its ‘growing in’ phase. There remains some final grading and tidying works to be completed when the weather improves, with Malahide CC aiming to start using the ground for the 2012 season.
One of the main issues at Malahide has been its rather beautiful location. Set within the historic surrounds of the Malahide Demesne Regional Park, the project has been subject to a standing archaeological watch which resulted in numerous delays during the earth moving stages of the project. The fact that the club wanted to continue play in and around the areas being worked on also meant that timescales were longer than would usually apply.
During phase two of the project, there were also some last-minute changes to outfield design due to changing requirements from Fingal County Council.
On our most recent visit to site, we witnessed the new drainage system being tested – and coping admirably – as the Dublin area experienced 100mm of rain in four hours!
Overview by Andrew Mcleod in Cricket on 16th Jan 2012
This article appeared in Pitchcare Magazine Issue 40 – December / January 2011 / 2012.
Complete article: http://www.pitchcare.com/magazine/icc-developing-cricket-in-ireland-and-romania.html