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March 16, 2008
Guyana Cricket Board has made assurances that the pitch at the Providence Stadium will be ready for the first Test against Sri Lanka despite the warm-up match between the Sri Lankans and a Guyana President's Select XI to be played at the same venue.
The tour game, scheduled between March 17 and 19, was to be played at Bourda but heavy rain left the ground waterlogged and the board was forced to shift it to the Providence Stadium, which will host its first-ever Test on March 22.
"After Bourda was under water for several days we consulted the West Indies Cricket Board about using the National Stadium [ Providence Stadium] for the warm-up match and we were told once we do not use the same pitch it would be fine and the pitch we are using [for the warm-up game] is two pitches away from the one we will be using for the Test match," said Chetram Singh, the Guyana board president.
Singh said groundsmen will work overtime to get the Test pitch ready in time. "We started the preparations for the Test match earlier than usual so we will ensure that the three day match will not disturb the Test pitch to a level of Test match readiness."
Ticket sales picked up on Friday after two days of little rain and much sunshine, according to Singh. "We're hoping from Monday that the sales will pick up further with additional publicity and the cricket fever kicking in with the public knowing that the Sri Lankans are here.
"The confusion we usually have at Bourda at the gates and so on, we don't see that confusion at the [Providence] stadium. Parking facilities will be much better at the stadium because there is a huge parking space in front the stadium and because the stadium was constructed to specific ICC regulations the entire running of cricket at the stadium is going to be much easier."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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