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Helicopter Ensures Pitch is Right as Rain

Sydney Uni No 1 oval being used for a cricket match today after being underwater during the week and dried with the aid of a helicopter. 10th March

Two days earlier ... submerged by the deluge that hit Sydney. The flooding was worse than it might have been because a nearby drainage system had been covered during building works. The result: the area's lowest point, around the oval, resembled a reservoir.

The building company put five pumps to work overnight on Thursday and had drying machines working on the ground during Friday.

''Then the groundsman, Ray Hunt, said to me: 'If you want to have this cricket match on Sunday, you'd better get me a helicopter','' said Professor Richard Allen, who heads the hospital's transplant unit.

''We got permission from the university, which meant getting consent from a whole lot of research institutes - ensuring the noise wouldn't affect them, and so on - and we had to get insurance. But we got a helicopter over the pitch from about 2.30pm for an hour and a quarter.''

It was organised by one of the unit's co-ordinators, who had connections with the owner of a helicopter which is used to carry transplant patients.

Sydney University secretary Geoff De Mesquita said the club was ''in the right spot at the right time''. ''We joked about getting a helicopter that morning,'' he said. ''As it turned out, it happened that way.'' Using a helicopter might seem extreme but today's charity match is worth it. It is meant to raise awareness of organ donation and will feature the Australian Transplant Cricket Club, whose players have received organ transplants. Allen toured England with the team last year.

Sydney University Oval Sydney University Oval

Read more: www.smh.com.au

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This article was written

by in Cricket on 14 Mar 2012

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