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Cricket Tasmania defends Hobart Test pitch
Greg Buckle
15:10 AEST Wed Dec 12 2012

Cricket Tasmania (CT) officials on Wednesday defended the pitch for this week's first Test against Sri Lanka, saying they're confident it will provide an even surface.

Following an upgrade of the wicket and outfield in August, three Sheffield Shield games have produced an average score for the first innings of less than 100.

As both teams trained on Wednesday ahead of Friday's first day's play, the pitch was bathed in green.

CT boss David Johnson denied Hobart was in any danger of having Cricket Australia move the match to another venue because of fears the pitch would be a raging green-top for seam bowlers to wreak havoc.

"I am very confident the team has prepared an even surface that should provide a great battle between bat and ball come Friday," CT venue operations manager Stephen McMullen said in a statement on Wednesday.

CT chairman Tony Harrison said curator Marcus Pamplin and his staff had done a fantastic job re-surfacing Bellerive Oval.

"The CT Board has full confidence in our curating team and is confident that they have produced a quality Test wicket," Harrison said.

Cricket Australia venue operations manager Sean Cary said the new centre-wicket block had provided more bounce and carry than the old pitch.

"This is due to the rye grass and new clay mix. However the new wicket has also shown that when batsmen apply themselves early, runs can be scored when they get set," Cary said.

Pamplin said the process of the clay settling down would take some time.

"But we believe we are in a far better position for a more consistent surface than at the start of the season," he said.

"On the back of a good cricket pitch for the last Sheffield Shield game, we think the Test pitch should play better and provide a good contest."


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