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World Cup cricket ‘square’ arrives in New York after trip from Florida

Winter conditions in New York meant that the grass needed to be grown in the warmer climate of Florida before being transported and installed.

ccMIAMI, UNITED STATES: Ten cricket pitches have completed their journey up the East Coast of the United States from Florida to New York state and are being installed in a new stadium built for next month’s T20 World Cup.

The “drop in pitches” have been prepared in Florida since December and were recently transported by 20 trailer trucks up the I-95 highway to the venue in Long Island.

The surfaces, which will soon be used for games including the highly-anticipated clash between cricket giants India and Pakistan, were developed by Australian Damian Hough, curator of the Adelaide Oval.

Winter conditions in New York meant that the grass needed to be grown in the warmer climate of Florida before being transported and installed.

Hough said the journey from the base in Boynton Beach, Florida, to Nassau County in New York state, took over 24 hours, with regular stops for checks and hydration of the grass.

“From a turf perspective, we made sure that there was no weather or elements getting on them with regards to wind or rain. They’ve come through, the ones we’ve received so far, we couldn’t be happier, they’ve come through in flying colors,” Hough said.

The condition of a cricket pitch, also known as a wicket or track, has a crucial bearing on the game, impacting the speed and bounce of the ball and the degrees of spin or movement off the seam of the ball that can be utilised by bowlers.

Chris Tetley, head of events for the International Cricket Council — organizers of the World Cup that will be co-hosted by the United States and several Caribbean nations — said the pitch production had been a huge logistical challenge for the companies 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.

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