Ground to host practice matches before February May 20, 2006

Kensington Oval gears up for World Cup

Mike King
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An artist's impression of what the Kensington Oval should look after the refurbishment © Getty Images

The Kensington Oval will have a test run before the ground is handed over to the ICC in February.

Chris deCaires, the chairman of World Cup Barbados Inc., made it clear there will be practice games on the playing area before the year-end.

"Our schedule confirms that we will be ready and the ICC has given the green light that our schedule is satisfactory to being World Cup-ready for next year and that will include practice games on the ground," he said.

Gordon Greenidge, the former West Indies opening batsman, said he was concerned whether there would be any real assessment of the pitch before the World Cup. He did not think that the Oval would be completed in time for practice matches to be played there before Barbados hosts Super Eight matches next April.

However, deCaires said that in addition to the test run for the pitch, there would be a rehearsal for the entire stadium.

"It is very important to have practice games and that is on the agenda, as well as an event to test the entire stadium. We want to make sure the stadium works well."

deCaires said he was pleased with the progress of construction at the Oval and promised that when it was completed, the facility would be truly world-class.

"We still have a lot of work to be done but I am happy with what we have achieved so far and the efforts from all sectors of the society.

"I have never been involved with a project that has such an integration from so many levels of society. We will host the best World Cup ever and all of Barbados will be proud and pleased with the final product.

"The players' pavilion will be up there with the best in the world, as well as the Challenor and Kensington Stands and the media centre. We will have a world-class facility, no doubt about it."