Preparation for England T20 matches begins at the National Stadium

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KARACHI: The preparation for the T20 series against England has started here at the National Stadium where four matches will be played from September 20-25.

The grass on the surface of all pitches has been razed, this scribe noted during a visit. The gardeners also trimmed the grass in the outfield. Due to recent heavy rains in Karachi, the grass is lush green, but it had grown too big for international matches.

Officials said no damage was caused to the stadium by the heavy rain. Everything is going well, they say.

Officials said online ticket sales have begun and tickets at all venues are selling out quickly.

The sources said that several important meetings between provincial government departments, institutions of local bodies and the cricket board will be held in the coming days for the smooth running of the matches.

Sources said issues related to safety, traffic lanes, parking for spectators and officials would be decided at those meetings.

Officials said PCB management expected fans to throng the stadium to watch the games.

It should be mentioned here that this will be England’s first visit to Pakistan in 17 years. England are expected to play seven matches. The remaining three matches will be played at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore, from September 28 to October 2.

The limited run is vital for both teams as they prepare for this year’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in October-November. England and Pakistan are currently second and third in the ICC Men’s T20I Team Ranking.

Meanwhile, soil imported from Australia to make cricket pitches has reached Karachi, ‘The News’ has learned.

Informed sources at the PCB said tons of soil was imported from Australia and put into NSK’s warehouses. Half would be sent to Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, the sources said. The color of soil imported from Australia is gray and blackish, which is specially used for making cricket pitches.

Sources said soil imported from Australia would be tested and gradually used to make pitches for domestic matches.

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