The WACA has completed construction of all drop-in pitches slated for use at Perth Stadium from the 2017-18 season.
WACA head curator Matthew Page and his team have been working hard to produce a total of five drop-in wickets, with four new pitches adding to the prototype surface developed over the past year.
The prototype, which underwent rigorous analysis in February this year after being given just eight months maturation time, helped govern the methodology that underpinned the construction of the additional four pitches.
The five wickets are planted at Gloucester Park and will continue to mature before undergoing soil and structural analysis, as well as performance under match-simulation use.
High hopes are held for the original prototype wicket, which has had a year’s maturation time and is expected to have improved further on its initial results.
Those results, taken from the testing in February 2016, showed that while it was generating less pace than the current WACA Ground wicket, it had achieved an acceptable playing surface by international standards in the short time given to preparation.
It is hoped that the further maturation time will bring it closer to achieving the WACA’s bold goal of creating a pitch that replicates the characteristics of the historic and revered WACA Ground wicket.
"Hopefully we’ll see some more bounce and more pace,” Page said of the prototype’s imminent re-test.
"The root system has had another nine months to establish, which means there should be more life and soil compaction.
"As a rule of thumb and to a certain extent, wickets improve with age. The first two years in terms of WACA Ground pitches, they usually play slow and low, but we prepared these ones a bit differently.
"We constructed them using a different methodology to attempt to fast-track them, so we’ve compacted them as we’ve built them, going layer-by-layer and compacting them along the way.”