SPORTENG specialises in the planning, design and construction phase consulting services of Fields of Play across all sports in Australia. Our experienced team all contribute towards designing high-quality Fields of Play for all levels of use.


The success of a cricket oval often comes down to the performance of the cricket wicket itself. The design and construction of a cricket wicket is considered an art, and heavily dependent on the properties of the material sourced for the wickets. Where we can, we use locally sourced and proven wicket soils and employ construction techniques that suit the material. This ensures we create a well-compacted base.


When it comes to the natural turf outfield there are three key design elements:

  • Engineering ensures that the subgrade is adequately understood, and that the drainage is correctly designed to accommodate the infiltration rate of the overlying profile.
  • Agronomy allows our team to correctly specify the growing medium, profile amendments and turf species.
  • Irrigation helps our team design a fully automated system to uniformly distribute precipitation across the turf surface.

We cover these three key elements to ensure the design of your cricket oval is completed to a high quality, while meeting your needs and the needs of Cricket Australia.

Our technical expertise underpins all our projects, and we are regularly called upon to work on projects of high significance.

No matter if you’re a governing body or a local school, you will benefit from a sports field that puts the athlete first.

We guarantee that SPORTENG’s designs will meet your needs, while complying with the Cricket Australia and AFL standards.

SPORTENG projects run on time and on budget due to our team’s comprehensive 3D design work, exceptional engineering expertise, agronomic and irrigation consultation, along with clear on-site direction.

Our Design Approach

SPORTENG lives and breathes Fields of Play. We take our love of the game from the grandstand right into our office. We’re proud to be Australia’s leading Field of Play design consultancy.


Our attention to detail is reflected in our mantra, ‘measure twice, cut once’.

We’re dedicated to achieving the best results for your venue and its athletes, whether it’s a local legend or the next international star.

Whether we are designing a cricket pitch for an elite venue or a community facility, our approach doesn’t change. We undertake a detailed assessment of the existing site to:

  • Know the condition of the existing subgrade.
  • Locate drainage point of discharge.
  • Determine the water supply pressure and flow for the irrigation system.
  • Identify any site constraints.

Once we have a deep understanding of the site, we brief the client to ensure the cricket pitch is delivered on time and on budget.

Sustainability Practices

Cricket player using a bat to hit the ball on a natural turf cricket field
Cricket enclosures with synthetic grass

Here at SPORTENG, we take a sustainable approach to all our designs. Not happy with just the status quo, we always strive to investigate new designs and construction techniques that deliver positive environmental outcomes.

We believe sustainability is intertwined with sports greatness.

As part of this, we integrate your requirements, from budget to performance values, through to sustainability practices – this ensures we achieve a successful result.

We consider the multiple elements in our sustainability approach for natural turf fields of play, including:

  • Designing an irrigation system that’s efficient as possible to minimise precipitation requirements, while noting that an oval is the most complex natural turf Field of Play to design due to the shape.
  • Specifying a playing surface profile that will support healthy turf growth.
  • Nominating a durable and drought tolerant turf species that addresses the end users’ performance requirements.

When we design a synthetic grass pitch, there are added environmental elements we consider and address in the planning and design process:

  • End-of-life consideration allows us to specify cradle-to-cradle materials and products that have a circular upcycle process at the end of its design life rather than a linear ‘take-make-waste’ process.
  • Prioritising organic and infill free systems allow us to specify the use of organic infills or systems that have no performance infill layer.
  • The risk of microplastic displacement from the synthetic grass system means we ensure the pitch is fully enclosed to prevent infill displacement from the surface

Synthetic Grass Microplastics Management

Optimize your synthetic grass Field of Play.


Cricket Profile Options

There are several options you can consider when you select the appropriate natural turf profile for a cricket oval. Our decisional flow chart can help you marry your hours of use requirements for the oval with the appropriate playing surface profile.





Here at SPORTENG, we pride ourselves on having a deep understanding key principles for the design of a natural turfcricket oval, which include:

  • Playing surface profile meets the needs of the users so that the performance of the profile can cater for the proposed weekly hours of use.
  • Effective drainage allows for the quick removal of surface water through the profile and into subsurface drainage system, while retaining adequate moisture levels in the profile for the turf.
  • Efficient irrigation ensures high uniformity across the whole surface.

The shape of a cricket oval, in addition to a centre turf wicket block, presents as the most challenging of all the fields of play for an irrigation design. The curved boundary makes fitting typically rectangular or triangular shaped sprinkler spacing pattern difficult. Our experienced irrigation design team are well-versed with the design for an oval irrigation

Our team also have a nuanced understanding of the key design principles for a synthetic grass surface, which differ from that of natural turf. These differences include:

  • Appropriate and compliant synthetic grass system means that the synthetic grass system must adhere to the AFL/CA standards and address the needs of the user and community. The variations in the latter criteria are influenced by the different infill used.
  • Effective drainage quickly removes surface water through the profile and into a horizontal draining profile or vertical draining profile.
  • Long-term surface tolerance adherence is a key difference between these surfaces. The movement of natural turf can be addressed through topdressing, but the playing surface for synthetic grass cannot move over time. This is because level changes cannot be addressed through topdressing. The pavement and underlying subgrade must have a design life that shouldn’t move and is in excess of at least twenty years.

When combining cricket and AFL into a synthetic oval, complications occur at the interface between the short pile synthetic grass product for the cricket wicket and the surrounding long pile AFL/CA synthetic grass outfield.

In cricket mode, this level change can be addressed with manual grooming of the infill. But when AFL season kicks off,the short pile surface requires an overlay without any step-like level changes.

Some current design solutions we implement include lowering the cricket wicket and overlaying a long pile system. Or we can insert wedges to raise the level of the outfield directly adjacent to the wicket, then allow the long pile overlay marry seamlessly into the outfield levels.

Cricket Requirements



Achieving the appropriate geometry is more than just the length and width. Run-offs need to be meet, which means that all perimeter infrastructures need to be outside the run-off offset.

Incorporation of cricket wicket/s

The inclusion of a cricket wicket within an oval is almost unavoidable in Australia. It is rare to have an oval just for one sport without the other. The design for including synthetic cricket wickets vary from a natural turf wicket block. We have evolved our designs  to provide the best outcome for both sports.

High wear areas

High wear areas, such as the centre square and goal squares, can be enhanced through the use of profile reinforcement or hybrid turf systems.

Cricket enclosures

Practice cricket wicket enclosures are becoming more elaborate in design, as councils look to maximise their use as a multi-sport facility, rather than just cricket. The cricket enclosure complies with CA requirements, which includes the width of lanes, the extent of roof coverage and the length and height of the enclosure.

If a cricket enclosure needs to have multi-use functionalities, we will include retractable or curtain divider nets. These allow you to configure the cricket lanes and provide an unobstructed synthetic grass surface that can be used for other sports.

The AFL, in conjunction with Cricket Australia (AFL/CA), also endorses the use of synthetic grass for use as the playing surface for AFL ovals.