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FIFA UPDATE


the afternoon of the 8th, whilst a second- team were preparing to harvest the new pitch from a local nursery which had been set up at Abu Dhabi Cricket Club. A third SIS team were also working at Al Ain at this time to stitch SISGRASS into the existing pitch to help it cope with the extra fixtures. As the works were ongoing, testing was underway to assess just how quickly the newly stitched pitches were in terms of readiness for play. Pro Pitch consultants, who were retained by the LOC, monitored both pitches closely. The data gathered from


the pitches would go a long way to help with planning for future tournaments. iTurf, who are retained by FIFA, tested before the games alongside Alan’s own testing. Key parameters, such as surface hardness, moisture and traction among others, were monitored closely, with more test sites than normal used to ensure the delivery had been consistent over the entire playing area. Four days after stitching was completed in Al Ain, the first games took place. Surface hardness was 75 Gravities on average, with moisture at 23%. Damage limitation was key


as games two and three were being played back to back on the 15th before a second doubleheader for games four and five on the 18th.


The observations during the installation also revealed that traction levels were inside the optimum range within hours of the fibre being delivered, with surface hardness coming in to the optimum range forty-eight hours later. The unique action of the stitching machine, combined with verti- draining the profile ahead of it to aid the entry of the needles, completely


PC April/May 2019


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