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Organisers seek to address Nassau County International Cricket Stadium’s pitch issues

Featured image credit: ICC

The International Cricket Council (ICC) and Men’s T20 World Cup local organising committee, T20 Inc, have said work is taking place to “remedy the situation” amid growing concerns over the standard of the pitches used at the new Nassau County International Cricket Stadium.

The temporary venue that has been built to stage New York’s games at the T20 World Cup hosted its first fixture at the tournament on Monday as South Africa defeated Sri Lanka. This was followed on Wednesday as Ireland was beaten by India.

However, both games were shortened as the teams batting first, Sri Lanka and Ireland, were bowled out for 77 and 96 runs, respectively. Batsmen across all four teams encountered difficulties on wickets producing inconsistent bounce, with conditions having been labelled dangerous in some quarters.

In a joint statement, the two organisations said: “T20 Inc and the ICC recognise that the pitches used so far at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium have not played as consistently as we would have all wanted.

“The world-class grounds team have been working hard since the conclusion of yesterday’s (Wednesday’s) game to remedy the situation and deliver the best possible surfaces for the remaining matches.”

Nassau County International Cricket Stadium is currently scheduled to host six more games at the tournament being co-hosted by the United States and West Indies, beginning with today’s encounter between Canada and Ireland, before the blockbuster clash that sees India face off against Pakistan on Sunday.

Ahead of the tournament, officials claimed that the venue would offer a “world-class playing surface”. The outfield surrounds four drop-in pitches cultivated with native Tahoma 31 Bermuda grass, nurtured in Florida by Adelaide Oval Turf Solutions and US-based sports turf experts LandTek Group. The pitches made a 1,000-mile journey to New York and were installed by crane into the venue before being prepared ahead of the World Cup.

Architecture and design firm Populous in January unveiled plans for a 34,000-seat modular cricket stadium in New York. Populous has partnered with the ICC on the stadium, which is located in Eisenhower Park, Nassau County, 30 miles east of Manhattan.

Construction on the stadium began soon after January’s announcement, with the design of the venue incorporating sustainable, temporary solutions. The stadium grandstands were originally used during Formula 1’s Las Vegas Grand Prix and have been repurposed for primary general admission seats.

The temporary stadium is the first-of-its-kind for international cricket and believed to be the largest ever constructed in the United States. In addition to the east and west general admission stands which rise to more than 20 metres, and include views of the Manhattan skyline, extensive hospitality and media pavilions on the north and south ends of the venue have been constructed.