The Guyana National Stadium at Providence is about a half-hour ride from the centre of Georgetown, and it springs up over the horizon suddenly, a bit like a mushroom emerging from the earth. The Buddy's International Hotel, where many of the media are staying, is right next door, and those with a particularly fanciful imagination might even compare the two constructions to two UFOs that have landed in the middle of nowhere.

The one thing you don't want to hear when you arrive at a venue on the eve of a game is construction noises, the sound of cement mixers and power-drills, but the recent rain has meant that work on the stadium isn't quite complete. It's a situation that horrifies some, but for those of us from countries where the chalta-hai (It happens) approach is commonplace, it's hardly an eye-opener.

The one thing you can say is that it's a beautiful ground, with a lush green outfield and three magnificent stands. But the prettiest part of it is undoubted the grassy mound, perhaps modelled on the old Hill in Sydney and the similar patch of grass at Adelaide. For those looking to party, it will undoubtedly be the place to be, especially if the sun comes out and the beer starts to flow.

South Africa grumbled about the quality of the practice pitches, but there was the hint of a smile around Tom Moody's lips when he was asked about the pitch to be used for the game. Shaved as bald as Kojak and the colour of sand, it could easily have been transported from the Premadasa in Colombo.

Away from the middle where Andy Atkinson, the ICC’s pitch expert, keeps an eye on last-minute trims and rolls, the TV crew are busy gearing up for the start of the fortnight in Guyana. Kilometres of thick cables criss-cross the outer perimeter of the ground, and the control room is a maze of monitors and wires. Outside though, you don't quite feel the buzz that was there in Jamaica, where most people you ran into would take time off to talk about Chris Gayle's lack of runs and Dwayne Bravo's slower delivery.

In other ways though, I'm relieved to be a sea and more away from the land of reggae. But as Duran Duran sang in Ordinary World, Still I can't escape the ghost of.. The minute someone realises that you were in Jamaica, the inevitable questions follow about Bob Woolmer's death and its aftermath. As South African journalist Neil Manthorp, wrote recently in one of his columns, "the impression that some news gatherers would happily throw their mother under a train in pursuit of the story has returned".

The urge to snap comes to the fore mainly when folk ask for the gory details. Having no appetite for such things, you want to shut the images out of your mind, and remember instead a man who was never short of time or a word for journalists that approached him. What will stick in my mind the most is a night at the hotel bar in Colombo, not long after he took over as Pakistan coach. We chatted for over two hours - "Who are you calling ordinary?" he asked with mock anger when I suggested that his not being a 'great' had perhaps helped him to understand his players' insecurities better - and I'll never forget the story he told me of doing the laundry for the township boys in Cape Town.

"They needed clean kits to play," he said simply. It didn't even strike him as odd, the idea that a former international should gather up dirty clothes and wash them for a group of underprivileged boys, many of whom wouldn't even go very far in the game. He was that sort of man, and while others have come up with far more touching and personal tributes, I'll always remember that near-messianic zeal. Many coach, but how many do the laundry?

Dileep Premachandran is an associate editor at ESPNcricinfo