Pitch Perfect

Pitch Perfect

30 April 2020

There’s no doubt creating the perfect cricket pitch is a like a work of art and Ian Boyle can claim the title as one of the country’s best grounds curators.

At age 15 Ian was on the cricket pitches of Dumferline, Scotland, learning his craft to become a grounds curator. “Back then, I had some very average equipment and limited knowledge, but plenty of passion,” says Ian.

Now, some years later, he is renovating St Paul’s wicket for the upcoming cricket season, as he has done every year since 2010. This involves removing and re-claying new seed in the blocks. The preparation undertaken in autumn determines the outcome of the pitch in summer.

Although graduating with a degree in Social Sciences and a master’s degree in Environmental Planning, Ian didn’t choose to work in these areas. He spent some time as sculptor but now considers cricket pitches as his ultimate sculpture.

Ian’s skill in producing top-performing playing grounds has been recognised nationally when the school’s Way Oval, the ‘number one’ cricket wicket, was named NZ’s community pitch of the year in 2018.