Designed by Stuart Canvas, the Hover Cover is an innovative product that has revolutionised the way that major cricket grounds protect their squares and pitches.
Playing time lost to rain and the resulting need for drying time led to Stuart Canvas developing the Hover Cover in 1998 with the effect of reducing time lost to rain. In addition the nature of the product enables ground staff to cover the pitch and square within three minutes with reduced manpower. It was installed at Lord’s in the year it was developed and along with it’s potential for generating sponsorship and advertising revenue, it is the ideal product for covering all Test Match and County grounds.
The business case for the Hover Cover was highlighted by Tony Dodemaide, Head of Cricket at the MCC, following the Nat West Series Final between New Zealand and West Indies in 2004. Play was completed on the day despite several rain interruptions, meaning unnecessary expenditure from an extra day was avoided, leading him to say “This is not only perfect for cricket – it makes good business sense too”.
The Hover Cover is currently used at:
- Lords, London
- Edgbaston, Birmingham
- Trent Bridge, Nottingham
- Glamorgan, Cardiff
- Old Trafford, Manchester
- Dakha, Bangladesh
- Pune, India
Mick Hunt – Head Groundman at Lord’s Cricket Ground 1985 -2018
“when rain stops play, we can get it into the middle before the players have left the pitch. We can get the whole of the square under cover within three minutes.”
(Mick Hunt speaking to Pitchcare Magazine, articke by Neville Johnson, “People and Cricket”29 Oct 2018, Issue 81, https://www.pitchcare.com/news-media/lord-s-treasure-hunt.html)
Hover Cover installation at Lord’s Cricket Ground (June 2020)
The Hover Cover has many advantages over conventional pitch covers and these include:
Speed – the Hover Cover can be protecting the pitch within 3 minutes of the start of rain, whereas normal cricket covers would take up to 10 minutes to cover the pitch completely.
Manpower – being self-propelled, the Hover Cover requires less ground staff to manoeuvre it onto the square, than traditional mobile pitch covers.
Transportation – the Hover Cover glides to the centre of the pitch, thus meaning there are no wheel marks or damage to the turf after a deluge of rain. The hover cover, which is motorised, may be loaded with side sheets and bowlers’ run-up covers, thus avoiding extra manpower and time getting the covers to the middle.
Sponsorship – the Hover Cover is an ideal sponsorship medium for your venue. The canvas top is perfect for signwriting and it may be shaped to the sponsor’s wishes, e.g. made to look like an aeroplane fuselage with a tail fin or even a can of drink. The Hover Cover may be used as a mobile advertising hoarding, during intervals if required.
Benefits to the groundsmen – the air circulation units may be used to speed up the drying process and are ideal for controlled germination, especially out of season. It can also be moved sideways easily, on and off the pitch, when work is necessary during showery days.
Dimensions – its dimensions are custom made to the customer’s own requirements, but would normally be between 80ft – 105ft long and 15 ft wide. It is powered by two 20 hp petrol-driven engines, one at each end. Integral gutters down each long side are designed to carry square covers on inflatable tubes, and extra covers, if necessary, for the bowlers’ run-ups.
In short, the Hover Cover is ideal for covering pitches at all major cricket grounds and the potential for generating sponsorship/advertising income means it is also cost-effective. The Hover Covers are currently being used at Lord’s, Trent Bridge, Cardiff, Edgbaston, Old Trafford, India and Bangladesh.
Stuart Canvas Cricket is proud to be an official supporter of NatWest CricketForce, having been an official supporter since its inception. Our range of cricket ground products are designed to help both small and large cricket clubs get the most out of their ground. Our dedicated team are cricket players and enthusiasts and understand the needs of cricket clubs of all sizes, we are here to help you enjoy the beautiful game of cricket.
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