Durban ready for one-dayers August 19, 2005

Rushed job to get pitches prepared

Cricinfo staff

The groundsman at Durban's Kingsmead Stadium is a man under pressure as he battles to prepare pitches for the second and third matches in the Afro-Asian Cup.

Wilson Ngobese was given little advance notice of the games, and he told the IOL website that he was in a no-win situation. "To prepare a wicket for matches at this part of the year is not easy. All we were doing here was getting the table ready for the 2005-06 season and bang came the news that we will be staging two Afro-Asian games here this week."

Despite this, he remained confident that the ground would be ready for the matches on Saturday and Sunday. "We will have a good track ready for the opening game and I suppose you could say the same for Sunday's final match in the three-game series," he said. "There's a lot of grass on the wicket table at the moment. You would expect this at this time of the year as we allow it to grow until we are close to the start of the new season...but that will have to be shaved off by early Saturday morning; this is a one-day contest and I'd like it to be fair to both sides."