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WACA to develop pitches for new stadium

AAP logoAAP 1/09/2016

The WACA has started construction of a full set of drop-in wickets to be used at the new Perth Stadium, with hopes one of them will feature during the 2017/18 Ashes series.

Building is under way on a total of five drop-in wickets, with the pitches to be curated at Gloucester Park before being transported and installed midway through next year at Perth Stadium.

The exact opening date of the $1.4 billion stadium is still up in the air.

It will definitely be in time for the 2018 AFL season.

But Cricket Australia and the WACA are pushing for the 60,000-seat venue to be opened by an Ashes Test in late 2017 or early 2018.

A blockbuster match featuring the Socceroos is also in the running to open the venue.

The WACA made a decision last year to move WA's biggest cricket matches to the new Perth Stadium.

Test matches against tier-one countries - England, South Africa and India - plus one-day internationals and Big Bash League games will be shifted to the Burswood venue once it's completed.

The drop-in wickets that will be developed will be constructed under the same methodology as the prototype wicket trialled earlier this year.

Those trials were conducted in February after just five months of curation.

The results showed the prototype wicket as having more carry than the current WACA Ground pitch, but slower pace.

The wicket passed the necessary tests needed to deem it worthy of international cricket.

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