North London club Botany Bay CC are delighted with a new bespoke practice facility that is the result of perserverance, teamwork and specialists total-play Ltd.
Desperate to replace their ageing and tired practice nets as part of a wider plan to improve the club's facilities, they were turned down for Sport England funding in 2012 and 2013.
However, advised by the Middlesex Cricket Board to cast the net a little wider, the club had better luck this year, with funding secured from a number of sources including Biffa Award, SITA Trust, Enfield Council, Middlesex Cricket Trust and the Lord's Taverners Fund.
Once the club had made up the balance with internal reserves, they faced the task of finding the right supplier.
Head of cricket development at the club Mark Couzens, describes what happened next.
"We got quotes from four suppliers and found the costs to be very similar, however, we found total-play to be very helpful, knowledgeable and prompt in answering any questions we had; and we were reassured that they were the first company to achieve the ECB NTP Code of Practice quality mark," he said.
"We also liked the unique design features offered by total-play’s system, including the white training lines, extra high structure and white netting to improve visibility for the batsmen."
Given a brief by the club, total-play's solution was based on its ECB-approved tp365 non-turf playign system and designed a fully enclosed four-lane, 33 metre, non-turf practice facility complete with security fence.
A two-tone carpet was fitted with white training lines to two lanes while an integral sight screen and ducting for inclusion of a bowling machine was also built in.
"Although it's early days and getting towards the end of the season, attendance at senior training has already doubled in recent weeks," Couzens added.
"However, we believe the real benefit will be realised next season when we aim to significantly increase our membership and work in partnership with other schools and clubs in the local community who do not have cricket practice facilities.
"The funding process was fine once you knew where to apply, and we found all of the funding organisations we dealt with to be very helpful and supportive.
"The advice I'd give to other clubs is don't give up; you might have to deal with being knocked back - possibly more than once, as we were - but it's worth the perseverance in the end as we've now got a brand new state of the art practice facility which has cost the club relatively little."
© Cricket World 2014