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‘India vs Pakistan pitch will be similar to Adelaide’ — 2024 T20 World Cup CEO details what to expect from Nassau County wicket in New York | Sporting News Australia

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The 2024 T20 World Cup is less than 50 days away. Set to be hosted in the West Indies and USA, this year’s T20 World Cup will involve 20 teams, and is set to be biggest edition to date.

Most interestingly, USA will host 16 matches across the tournament in three venues — Central Broward Regional Park Stadium in Florida, Grand Prairie Stadium in Texas and Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York.

The Nassau County stadium in particular has been of interest to cricket fans, especially in the subcontinent. 

Not only is it a pop-up stadium still under construction for the World Cup, it will also host one of the much-anticipated games of the tournament — India vs Pakistan.

Given that the stadium is still under construction, there’s a lot of mystery surrounding how the wicket will play and if the stadium can host a match like India vs Pakistan.

READ MORE: Check out all the 2024 T20 World Cup venues

Brett Jones, ICC Men’s T20 World Cup USA CEO, has shed some light on the challenges they have faced in preparing the Nassau County stadium for such high-profile matches in a freewheeling chat with The Sporting News.

He also touched on what to expect from the pitch at New York, and how it might play in the India vs Pakistan game.

Battling snow and record rains: How Nassau County stadium is getting T20 World Cup ready

Jones, a former Western Australian cricketer and an AFL star, says that the local organising committee has done a tremendous job in conceptualising a pop-up stadium inspired by Olympic Games venues and F1 racetracks.

“It is a temporary stadium. The inspiration has come from, I guess, Olympic games, golf courses, Formula One,” he said. 

“It’s similar to infrastructure used at those sort of events where large crowd numbers need to be housed. And we’re lucky to be working with teams that have worked across a lot of those major events over the last 20, 30 years and have become quite refined at understanding how to use temporary infrastructure to create really great atmospheres and stadium fields for fans attending sporting events,” Jones explained.

There were plenty of pictures floated on social media showing the Nassau County ground covered by snow and mud recently.

READ MORE: Who will win 2024 T20 World Cup in USA and West Indies?

Addressing those issues, Jones revealed that the team working on the stadium had to battle record rains and freezing temperatures. However, that has not affected the stadium construction and he expects it to be ready well in advance of the World Cup.

The team’s done an amazing job here from conceptualizing a pop-up stadium to pitch preparation. Everything is going really well. But they’ve battled record rain in March. I think we had over 10 inches (of rain), which was a record. We had snow on the ground through the early parts of late February. So, the team’s done an excellent job to be where they are now.

How will the drop-in pitch at Nassau County stadium behave for T20 World Cup?

The Nassau County stadium is set to host eight games during the 2024 T20 World Cup and one of them is the big-ticket India vs Pakistan clash. 

Naturally, there is plenty of intrigue around how the pitch at the stadium will behave given that it is a pop-up venue.

Jones explained that the organising committee have roped in Damien Hoff, the lead curator at the famous Adelaide Oval in Australia, to help with the pitch preparations in New York. 

It will be a drop-in wicket at Nassau County, which is pretty much in line with what happens with many established cricket grounds these days.

“So, Damien Hoff, who’s the Adelaide Oval Head Curator, was engaged in late 2023. He travelled to the US and has basically advised and overseen the preparation of the drop-in wickets. So, there’ll be a drop-in wicket solution in Nassau County,” Jones revealed.

“Those drop-in wickets are currently being grown in Florida where the weather’s been warm ever since December. (It’s) allowed the grass to really grow in and get a pitch block that’s really firmed up. So, that’s had multiple inspections. It’s probably exceeding expectations in terms of the quality and growth that’s happened on those wickets.”

Jones also added that the drop-in wickets will be transported to Nassau County towards the end of April.

“Towards the end of the month of April, those wickets will be transported up to the US with the weather getting to the right temperature up here, up to the northeast of the US, I should say. And we’ll place those wickets into the field.”

He also had a bit of insight into the how the wicket might behave:

(It will behave) no differently than they do with the MCG or the Adelaide Oval, or anywhere else that where they use drop-in technology. We think it will play very similarly to wickets that Damien’s prepared before. And the Adelaide Oval’s got a great track record.

“We feel very lucky to have Damien involved in the project,” Jones added. “I think he and his team have done a great job with the US-based team as well. And, yeah, we’re really comfortable in terms of how it plays.

“So, that’s where we sit from that point of view in terms of overall with Nassau County and the venue. We’re really excited, I think.”

When is India vs Pakistan match at 2024 T20 World Cup?

The India vs Pakistan T20 World Cup game at Nassau County stadium is scheduled for 9 June 2024. The game is set to start at 14:30 GMT. 

You can check out all the fixtures and full match schedule for the T20 World Cup with our comprehensive guide here.

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