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Adelaide Oval just fits for Test cricket
Steve Larkin
16:25 AEST Fri Nov 23 2012

If Adelaide Oval were a new ground, it wouldn't be fit for Test cricket.

The oval is too small to meet International Cricket Council rules.

But like many ICC rules, they bend - the dimension rules don't apply to grounds approved for international cricket before October 2007.

So Adelaide Oval fits, even while it's a construction site.

The $535 million redevelopment has resulted in the crowd capacity being halved for the second Test between Australia and South Africa.

The initial three days have been sold out and will attract 17,000 spectators.

There are also four ball fetchers, union-accredited staffers in the construction areas, tasked with finding and returning balls whacked over the boundary.

While the building works may by an eye-sore, there was never a doubt of the oval hosting this Test.

"We have always tried to be very transparent to make everyone aware what was going on, including Cricket Australia," South Australian Cricket Association chief executive Keith Bradshaw told AAP on Friday.

"There is obviously a huge visual impact with the sheer enormity of the structure that is going on.

"But South Australians, I have been very appreciative to how they have responded, I think they understand we have had some challenges."

Conservative Adelaide hasn't always embraced change.

But Bradshaw said the short-term pain and logistical challenges would be worth it.

"Given the size of the construction project that is going and the amount of temporary infrastructure that we have had to put in place, there were a lot of things that could have gone wrong that haven't," he said.

"Every facet of what we do is changing."

Come December next year, the oval still won't be finished when it hosts an Ashes Test.

A finished southern stand will seat another 14,000 but the completed stadium, with 50,000 capacity, won't be opened until the 2014 AFL season.

Bradshaw said hosting AFL games also meant "completely resurfacing" the oval - resulting in the use of drop-in pitches, grown within the precinct.

"The important thing is that we don't change the nature of how cricket is played at the Adelaide Oval, it has a huge tradition and heritage," he said.

"The challenge is that we create pitches that are very similar, if not the same, as the ones we play on out there at the moment."

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