Grass wicket

The most beautiful ground in the Netherlands

VRA has three grounds in the Amsterdamse Bos. The main ground, in a very picturesque setting, has arguably been the best playing field in the Netherlands for years and has achieved an A-status. After many broadcasts of its international cricket matches on television and internet, ‘the ground with the tree’ now enjoys international fame.

In 1994, in collaboration with the KNCB and the City of Amsterdam, the first grass pitch on the European mainland was established on the VRA grounds. A daring experiment, considering the long-prevailing view that a good grass pitch would be impossible to achieve on Dutch soil, even before considering the practical obstacles involving specialist equipment and the need for daily upkeep by an experienced groundsman.

In 1994 a square with five pitches was laid between the two hockey fields facing the clubhouse. The intention was for hockey to still be played there in the winter season, but this didn’t turn out to be practicable. One hockey field was sacrificed and the square is now reserved for cricket.

In 1997 the score box with an electronic scoreboard was built, and since then the VRA ground has gained NOC-NSF accreditation as an A-status location for international matches in the Netherlands.

In 2005 the square was renewed and expanded to 10 pitches. The beloved outfield was also renovated and furnished with a state-of-the-art drainage system. This makes the ground able to withstand the heavy rainstorms that the Netherlands unfortunately has to contend with. A second electronic scoreboard was added and inaugurated during the Netherlands – Sri Lanka ODI in 2006, during which Sri Lanka set the current standing world record of 443 runs in a 50-over One Day International. Today more than 25 ODIs have been played at VRA, and many of these have been broadcast globally by BBC, Sky Sports, ESPN and ICC Cricket.

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The facilities now also include 10 practice grass pitches. In 2012 an underground and fully invisible irrigation system was installed, so that the grass is now always, also during periods of drought, greener at VRA.

All work on the ground from 1994 till 2019 took place under the supervision of our groundsman Paul Polak, who had the highest qualifications and many years of experience. It is partly thanks to his efforts and expertise that the VRA ground has acquired such a wonderful reputation and is internationally famed for its fast outfield, excellent drainage and reliable pitches. Paul's vision included expansion of the facilities with a hall with three indoor practice pitches and necessary netting. Paul Polak passed away unexpectedly in 2019 and unfortunately did not see his vision realised. The indoor hall was build the next year and and came into service by late 2020.

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