Antigua ground gets World Cup thumbs-up

Published: Saturday, May 6, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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St John's:The International Cricket Council (ICC) has given the Sir Vivian Richards World Cup stadium the highest mark of approval, local organisers said.

The stadium, which will stage six matches in the Super Eight stages of next year's World Cup in March and April, was given a 'A' grade from the visiting ICC Venue Tour team.

"From what we have seen here today, a tremendous amount of work has been done since we were last here in March and I can tell you that Antigua and Barbuda will for the first time get the highest ranking," said Don Lockerbie, the ICC's World Cup Chief Operations Officer and Venue Development Director.

"We are very pleased with the work we have seen here, they are on schedule. The Chinese partners and their Antiguan counterparts are working not only fast but they are producing good quality work."

Hitting back at fears that the new stadium will lack the character of the famous Antigua Recreation Ground, Lockerbie added that the retaining walls, on the east and west sides of the stadium, will give provide an inviting atmosphere.

However, he added that there are concerns over the practice pitches and those at the new ground.

"We are working closely with the grounds staff at all three sites and, as you can imagine, they all have different work styles," said Lockerbie.

"However, we need the pitches to be consistent and play in a similar manner. We are not asking that all the pitches at all the venues play the same but the practice pitches should not be so different from the venue pitch."

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