Les Burdett, the long-serving Adelaide Oval groundsman, has signalled the end of 136 years of cricketing tradition by suggesting drop-in pitches could be used at the ground as part of its $450m redevelopment. Spectators at the second Test against West Indies this week will notice the iconic ochre-roofed Edwin Smith, George Giffen and Mostyn Evans stands to the west of the ground have already been bulldozed, and more changes are planned over the next four years.
The South Australian premier, Mike Rann, this week unveiled plans to expand the Adelaide Oval into a 50,000-seat multi-purpose stadium that will host primarily Australian rules football and cricket. To do so, Burdett said Adelaide may follow the lead of the Melbourne Cricket Ground and introduce drop-in pitches to reduce the risk of football injuries in the centre of the ground.
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