Dubai Sports City developments continue
It might be one of the hottest, driest countries in the world but the mantra that "nothing is impossible" couldn't be more appropriate for Dubai, whose preparations to build a world class cricket centre continue at apace.
Trade Arabia, a business website, reports that "Dubai Sports City’s strategy is to provide the finest ever sports facilities and cricket is to be a cornerstone sport, guaranteed to appeal to a worldwide audience happy to take advantage of the prime location of the UAE," while adding that they will build a special laboratory to produce different types of turf.
“The operation includes developing a specialist laboratory capable of supporting this activity, to the point where we can use climate control to make the turf an exact match for the practice needs of bowlers and batsmen,” he added.
In order to create the 28 specialist turf wickets, three different national soil types were imported to Dubai. An impressive 380 tons of Australian clay, 380 tons of clay from Pakistan and 180 tons of clay from England are en route to Dubai.
Under the strict control of the UAE government laboratory, the clay types will be screened for harmful nematodes, soil-based diseases and fungi such as fusarium. Once declared free of these threats, the soil will travel through the UAE in conditions designed to keep it entirely free of contamination by sand particles.
Will Luke is assistant editor of ESPNcricinfo