0 Turf delay will not damage Ashes Test insist Glamorgan

Glamorgan have insisted the delay in laying the new turf at the Swalec Stadium will not affect preparations for the first Ashes Test in July.

It is understood the turf, which is being cultivated in Yorkshire before being transferred to the Welsh capital, was due to be installed at the beginning of January.

But the freezing weather conditions have delayed the initial process, although Glamorgan have declared they are ahead of schedule and have a couple of months before the turf needs to be laid with the first Test starting on July 8.

A club statement read: "The task of providing the outfield at the Swalec Stadium with the latest world-class drainage and irrigation systems was completed ahead of schedule.

"The newly levelled surface is now ready to be turfed.

"The specialist turf will take less than a week to lay and will be ready to be used, as one of the finest outfields in England and Wales, within eight weeks of such completion.

"The first game at the Swalec Stadium begins on April 28, thus we have nearly four months to complete a task which requires less than nine weeks.

"We are particularly grateful to TGMS, our specialist consultants for this project who correctly anticipated the recent extreme cold weather and delayed the programme of turf laying.

"Had this company not been so expert and diligent, Glamorgan could well have wasted a considerable sum of money laying turf which would have been ruined by the current severe weather conditions."

ICC pitch consultant Andy Atkinson has been overseeing the installation of the new drainage system and the re-turfing of the outfield at the Swalec Stadium this winter which has a combined cost more than £1m.

The new Glamorgan groundsman Keith Exton, who will be the permanent successor to the long-serving Len Smith who left the Welsh county last September after the rain-affected one-day international between England and South Africa, will start work on February 1.

Meanwhile, the Welsh county have announced the next batch of tickets for the Ashes Test will go on general sale on Tuesday, March 3. The tickets available will be for the first four days.

The initial release of 6,000 tickets in November were snapped up in minutes with the Welsh county reporting 2.5m hits in 24 hours on their website.

On the field, cricket manager Matthew Maynard has confirmed the Welsh county are close to adding Australian opener Mark Cosgrove to next summer's playing staff after already snapping up South African duo Herschelle Gibbs and Garnett Kruger.

"I have had talks with Mark Cosgrove's advisors and he has agreed terms," said Maynard.

"The captain Jamie Dalrymple is happy, it is just a case of me tying up some loose ends.

"I am just gathering more information about why he has not been playing much in Australia this winter.

"We have been speaking to the ex-Glamorgan wicket-keeper Terry Davies, who lives out there now, and Jason Gillespie just to see what he has been happening."

If Glamorgan do sign Cosgrove, it is still unsure how long he would stay with the Welsh county, with official overseas player Gibbs joining at the end of June.

Cosgrove would be the overseas player for the first half of the summer but could carry on if Gibbs becomes a Kolpak player.

Source:- Wales on Line

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