The Ashes series begins on Wednesday at Cardiff’s Swalec Stadium, Britain’s newest Test venue and the first to be built in Wales.
The project involved the £9.4M redevelopment of Glamorgan Cricket club’s Sophia Gardens ground fuelled by a 10 year, £1.5M a year sponsorship from Swalec.
Construction began in April 2007 and the redeveloped stadium was first opened for competitive matches on 9 May 2008. It has not been plain sailing since then, however, with the poor state of the wicket earning the club a points deduction this May.
An over-active drainage system, coupled with the effects of a flood amelioration scheme on the nearby River Taff, meant that the water table had dropped, drying out the pitch. The wicket is expected to take plenty of spin in Wednesday’s Test match.