With the first ball of the Ashes test series fast approaching, building contractors are busy putting the final touches on a $5.1 million upgrade to the Gabba in order to ready the ground for the vital first game.

Conducting a behind-the-scenes tour of the venue followed by a pitch inspection on Thursday, Queensland Sport Minister Steve Dickenson says preparations are progressing well for the event, which is expected to provide a significant boost to the state’s economy. “These works will benefit players, fans, hirers, working media and broadcasters…