• Thursday, July 25, 2024

CRICKET

Cricket pitches make road trip for US World Cup debut

These cricket pitches, which will soon host matches including the highly anticipated India vs Pakistan clash, were prepared in Florida and then transported via road.

Pitch installation in progress at Nassau County International Cricket Stadium for T20 World Cup. (Photo: Getty Images)

By: Vivek Mishra

The journey of ten cricket pitches from Florida to New York state for the upcoming T20 World Cup is now complete. Australian Damian Hough, curator of the Adelaide Oval, oversaw the development of these “drop-in pitches,” which are currently being installed in a new stadium in Long Island.

These pitches, which will soon host matches including the highly anticipated India vs Pakistan clash, were prepared in Florida and then transported via 20 trailer trucks up the I-95 highway to the venue in Long Island.

Hough explained the necessity of growing the grass in Florida due to the winter conditions in New York, highlighting the meticulous care taken during transportation to protect the pitches from weather elements.

“The ones we’ve received so far, we couldn’t be happier, they’ve come through in flying colours,” Hough said of the pitches’ condition upon arrival.

Chris Tetley, head of events for the International Cricket Council (ICC), praised the logistical feat of moving the pitches across multiple states. He commended the meticulous planning and execution involved.

“It’s been an impressive piece of logistics that has gone into moving 10 pitches, on 20 trucks, plus backup trucks, with the route planning, the timing through, I can’t remember how many different states,” Tetley said.

“The permissions to take out agricultural materials through different states, traffic considerations, timing over bridges and we wanted to make sure the trays are out of the ground for as short a time as possible — extremely, extremely impressive,” he added.

The temporary stadium at Eisenhower Park, with a capacity of 34,000, is already set up, including stands and hospitality areas. Hough noted the surface’s suitability for T20 matches, aiming for minimal spin and seam to allow batsmen to play freely.

While the stands will be dismantled post-World Cup, the high-quality playing surface will remain, potentially benefiting the local cricket community. Tetley emphasised the legacy of providing world-class cricket facilities.

Cricket’s popularity in the US, particularly among immigrant communities, is growing. Major League Cricket, launched last year near Dallas, Texas, has attracted international players. The tournament, featuring teams like Washington Freedom, continues to expand the sport’s presence in the country.

The ninth edition of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, which will be a 20-team event, will take place in the USA and West Indies from 1 to 29 June, 2024.

(AFP)

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