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Page last updated at 09:49 GMT, Thursday, 23 July 2009 10:49 UK

Edgbaston Test pitch like 'jelly'

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Edgbaston prepares for third Test

Edgbaston groundsman Steve Rouse says he faces a tough battle to prepare the pitch for next week's third Ashes Test between England and Australia.

Heavy rain has hampered preparations and with more downpours forecast, the outlook for Rouse's team is bleak.

"It's a nightmare," he told BBC Sport. "We've had two actual dry days in the last 10 and the wicket is like jelly.

"It has to be ready a day before and I've got no chance of getting it solid, not with the weather coming in."

Test pitches are normally hard for pace and bounce, or dry and dusty to aid spinners.

Rouse suffered similar problems four years ago when a tornado in Birmingham and three inches of rainfall at the Warwickshire ground left him four days behind schedule.

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That wicket was slow, but it provided one of the most thrilling climaxes to a Test match when England triumphed by two runs.

England have a good record in Birmingham, winning 22 of the 43 Tests staged and losing only eight, with 13 draws.

Tickets are still available for the fourth day of the game on 2 August and spectators can also buy non-refundable tickets for the fifth day.



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see also
Groundsman's Edgbaston pitch fear
02 Aug 05 |  England
Pitching in for the Ashes
29 Jun 01 |  The Ashes


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