ICC happy with Antigua ground May 6, 2006

Sir Vivian Richards Stadium gets World Cup approval

Cricinfo staff

The Sir Vivian Richards Stadium © Getty Images

The Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua has been given the thumbs up for World Cup games by the International Cricket Council (ICC), according to local organisers. The ICC's Venue Tour team gave the venue of six matches in the Super Eight stages of next year's tournament an 'A' grade approval.

"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."

Lockerbie hit back at criticism that the new stadium would lack the character of the Antigua Recreation Ground by saying that the walls on the east and west sides would provide an inviting atmosphere. "We are working closely with the grounds staff at all three sites and, as you can imagine, they all have different work styles," he said. "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."