The ICC has approved the renovation work at Kingston's Sabina Park, and the local organisers had expressed confidence that it would be completed by the November 30 deadline. The ground will host the inaugural match of the 2007 World Cup between hosts West Indies and Pakistan on March 13.
The ground had been facing an uphill battle over the last few months to get the ICC's approval, as labour problems and cement shortages left work behind schedule. Last month, there were worries that construction of the thrust roof in the northern end of the ground would not be completed on time, due to the war between Israel and Hezbollah. Renovation work had been outsourced to Ashtrom Building Systems, an Israeli company based in Haifa. However, the contractors worked night shifts to speed up the work, and Chris Smith, the Jamaica Local Organising Committee's venue development manager for the World Cup, was pleased with the progress.
"The ICC was here in May and they were very nervous and we did report that to the country," Smith told the Caribbean Media Corporation. "It is now pleased with the progress that Ashtrom Building Systems has made since."
Smith said that the installation of the new roof would begin next week, as the first shipment of materials had arrived on September 9. The other shipments are expected to arrive during the course of the next few weeks.
However, Smith warned that rain could pose problems for the contractors as they pressed to complete the project on time. "You may be on schedule today and then may lose a day due to rain," he said. "So, if we are ahead by a week, then perhaps that will compensate for a day or two of losing time to rain."