As you can see we could easily string a net from one post to the other. Behind Joe there's a fence and on the off-side there's another fence. Because of the position of the strip in relation to the goal posts it's probably the least damaged part of the grass and possibly the most level? You can see how the compound slopes away downhill from left to right, but the strip wouldn't be too bad.
This view is looking from the Short Mid-Wicket and the bowlers end would be from just behind the furthest goal post. In relation to my house - my house is behind the white van you can see in the image in the centre almost so it's ideal.
This is the initial work, since this shot was taken fine clay dirt has been put down along with seed. Hopefully with the rain predicted the clay and compost will merge into the wicket and start to become part of it and help to start the levelling process. The clay comes from the wood behind the stumps. Inside there there's loads of mounds of it so it's just a case of mining it more or less. Dig it out sort the stones from it and siv it till you got a fine grade clay. Then it'll be a case of mixing it with some good rotted compost and gradually fill the holes and then building it up to a flat layer and rolling it when it gets wet.
When I went over this afternoon I bowled at the goal post and bowled pretty well - good accuracy and good control over some of my more obscure variations hitting the posts several times. Leg breaks are turning nice and I've been trying to speed them up. I noticed that the back-spinning Top-Spinner had loads of swing into the batsman which looked useful and I may give this a go this weekend and see how it goes because it sometimes breaks like a wrong un or simply goes straight.
If I can get this project going and get this grass flat like a wicket it's got shed loads of potential I'll almost be like Clarrie Grimmett with a wicket more or less in my back yard! Thinking about it, there is potential that I might give up on maintaining the other wicket and focus all my attention on getting this done, because this is so close to my house. The potential for my two boys to use it a lot more than the other wicket is massively increased because of it's proximity to my house and there's the added bonus that it's enclosed and no-one needs to be chasing after stray balls. I think the estate boys would probably prefer it to playing games because of the fact that it wouldn't include the necessity to field the ball. You never know in another 3 or 4 years time you might find there's a whole bunch of kids that bowl Wrist Spin coming out of Basildon!!!
Here's an approximation of how I see the nets once they're in place.....
So watch this space and see how it comes along.