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Pitch perfect? Adelaide Oval facing 48-hour test

Steve Larkin, AAP  November 10, 2017 4:28 PM

AFL 2017 Media - Australia Team Training

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WITHIN 48 hours, Adelaide Oval will change from a cricket ground to a footy field, then back to cricket.

And the oval's head curator Damian Hough is certain he and his ground staff can rise to one of the more unusual challenges of his tenure.

Adelaide's centrepiece arena is hosting a cricket tour game between England and a Cricket Australia XI, due to finish 9pm local time Saturday.

Ground staff will then work overnight to transform the field for Sunday's Virgin Australia International Rules Series game between Australia and Ireland which kicks off at 3.40pm local time.

As soon as the hybrid game finishes, groundsmen will start work to return the ground to a cricket field.

"You wouldn't have thought 10 years ago, or even when I took over (as head curator) in 2010 that this is where we are going," Hough told AAP.

"You put plans in place. And you don't just have one plan, you have got have probably five or six different scenarios on what Mother Nature is doing."

As soon as stumps are called in the English tour match on Saturday night, Hough and his staffers will work on removing the drop-in cricket pitch and re-turfing the centre area.

Hough reckons that will be completed by 3am Sunday, along with putting in the goalposts for the International Rules game and aerating to soften the turf.

At first light Sunday, staffers will mow the turf, paint advertising logos and put in place sponsor signage.

Around midday Sunday, the dimensions of the playing field will be marked.

And as soon as the International Rules game finishes, Hough's work starts again - wash out the advertising logos and boundary lines.

Come Monday night, three drop-in pitches will be returned into the oval ahead of a Sheffield Shield match starting November 23.

And by Tuesday night, Hough plans to also have in place the pitch to host the second Ashes Test between Australia and England, which starts December 2. 

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First Test: Adelaide Oval, Sunday, November 12
Second Test: Domain Stadium, Saturday, November 18