Boxing Day Test likely to go ahead at MCG

Published: Sunday, November 28, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Melbourne:Pakistan was likely to play its Boxing Day cricket Test against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground with drop-in pitches installed on the refurbished ground this weekend, officials said.

The MCG is undergoing an extensive refit ahead of the 2006 Commonwealth Games and there were fears that the ground would not be ready in time to host the second Test of the three-match series against Pakistan.

But MCG curator Tony Ware said on Sunday he was confident preparations for the December 26-30 Test were on schedule.

Ware said 50 percent of the ground's drainage had been installed and new turf would be laid this week dependent on continuing fine weather.

"The wickets are in good shape, our Test pitch is in good shape and it is really well grassed," Ware told the Sunday Herald Sun.

Ware said should the weather hold, the ground's grass surface could be laid down by early to mid-December, giving it time to bind.

"It is possible some of the grass will start to be laid this week," Ware said.

The first Test against Pakistan begins in Perth on December 16 with the third and final Test starting in Sydney on January 2.

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