South Africa v West Indies, 3rd Test, Durban January 7, 2008

Rain hampers Kingsmead preparations

Cricinfo staff

Heavy rain in Durban over the last week has left preparations for this Thursday's deciding Test between South Africa and West Indies behind schedule.

Groundstaff at Kingsmead were not been able to start rolling the pitch until the middle of the week and have struggled to work in between downpours.

"It's a pity we didn't host the Boxing Day Test. The conditions would have been perfect for that game," assistant groundsman Evan Flint told the Independent. "As it stands, the pitch is quite soft and, although the weather for the first couple of days is good, we expect the pitch to be a little slow at first."

A spokesman for the KwaZulu-Natal Cricket Union said there had been good pre-match sales for the first day of the match but there were plenty of tickets still available.