The new Perth Stadium's preparations for hosting Test cricket have hit a significant milestone, with five drop-in wickets successfully transferred from Gloucester Park to the state-of-the-art venue at Burswood.
The lifting and transfer process took approximately 20 hours in total, including setup and preparation time, with three wickets moved yesterday and the final two wickets transferred this morning.
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A crane was used to lift the wickets from their footings at Gloucester Park, before being loaded onto two specialist low-loader vehicles that transferred the 25 metre-long wickets to Perth Stadium.
A second crane was then used to unload the wickets and locate them at the cricket wicket nursery at the Stadium, located on the northern side.
"This is an exciting milestone and I congratulate all involved in reaching this stage, in particular our Turf Team, led by head curator Matthew Page," said WACA CEO Christina Matthews.
"The achievements to date on the production of the wickets have been significant and the next phase will be even more so.
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"I have absolute faith that we have the best people possible involved in this project and we continue to expect that we will be able to produce a wicket that provides WA cricket and the wider community with as entertaining a game as possible."
While a completion date is still unknown – and therefore it is unclear as to whether the venue or the WACA Ground will host this year's Ashes Test in December – the 60,000 seat stadium is set to host all international matches involving England, South Africa and India, as well as all Perth Scorchers matches in the KFC Big Bash.
The type of pitch the ground will offer has been a major talking point, particularly given the traditionally fast nature of the WACA Ground wicket, which made it an unique venue, however curator Page said he was pleased with the progress.
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"We're really happy with what we've seen so far from these wickets and the further maturation time will only benefit them," he said.
"There will be some learning experiences from moving the wickets to Perth Stadium, but we are excited by this next phase.
"While geographically only about a kilometre apart, there will be significant micro-climate differences that will need to be managed and the WACA turf team will be on site daily at Perth Stadium to observe and test how the wickets adapt."