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Media release

Marrara Oval pitch installation begins

Official ground works at Marrara Oval began today (16 June) with Melbourne Cricket Club Arenas Manager, Tony Ware, commencing the first phase of the Test and one-day international pitch installation for next month's Top End Tour

Official ground works at Marrara Oval began today (16 June) with Melbourne Cricket Club Arenas Manager, Tony Ware, commencing the first phase of the Test and one-day international pitch installation for next month's Top End Tour.
Ware, who will be based in Darwin from now until the end of the international series between Australia and Bangladesh, began the first major works on the playing surface with the removal of top soil to accommodate the Test match and one-day international wicket.
An additional area adjacent to the international strip will also be removed for the installation of the tour wicket to be used during the Bangladesh versus Chief Minister's XI match from 10-13 July.
Ware said the first phase of the project was due for completion by Thursday morning (19 June).
"Barring any unforeseen events, we should be ready to move the wickets in on Thursday, and hopefully have the rollers out sometime Friday afternoon," he said.
"Both pitches are in really good shape at the moment. We've kept them under tropical conditions at a local nursery and they're expected to be well-matured in time for the matches."
Ware will create history when the drop-in wickets are installed on Thursday, using his pioneering portable pitch technology for the first time in Australia.
Each wicket will be divided in half and merged together using a sophisticated ratchet mechanism once in the ground.
Ware, who has spent the last four years developing the landmark technology, hoped it would create further opportunities for the game in the Top End.
"This technology allows us to take advantage of a fantastic climate and really opens up additional opportunities for international and domestic cricket to be played in northern Australia," he said.
"Once this series is finished, we'll move the wickets back into the compound at Marrara and keep it maintained for possible further use down the track.
"The other main advantage is that we don't heavily impact on grounds like Marrara, which have other usages. We can move the pitch in and out without disrupting the facility for things like Australian Rules Football."
Ware, who started his career as a groundsman at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in 1976, is the leading turf and drop-in wicket expert in Australia.