International cricket returns to Guyana stadium after 2 years

Georgetown (Guyana), July 12 (IANS/CMC) Guyana cricket officials say the National Stadium at Providence is nearly ready to host two One-day Internationals between Pakistan and the West Indies from this weekend.

Pakistan and the West Indies meet Sunday and Tuesday at Providence in the first two of a five-match series.

Guyana has not hosted international matches in close to two years as a result of the dispute between Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) and Government of Guyana following the body's controversial elections in 2011. The last international game played here was between the same opponents on May 5, 2011.

The venue has been a scene of activity with workers applying finishing touches to various areas at the stadium including the media centre which is being repainted.

"Everything will be in place for cricket on Sunday, we are putting all systems in place for the matches and we are in the process of putting in the finishing touches at the stadium," said Anthony Xavier, general manager of the Guyana National Stadium.

"The only challenge at the moment is in the parking area which was used for the building expo clear; however, the Ministry of Hosing and Water has promised to have that area cleared by Friday."

Officials say the providence ground has the best drainage system among the international venues in the West Indies and is among the fastest drying grounds in the world.

Xavier says if there is no continuous rain on match days, the games will not be affected.

"Because of the soil, the pitches here (Providence) has been slow and helped the spinners a lot," said Head Curator Hardat Thomas.

"The pitches for these games will be a lot harder with more pace and bounce and batsmen should be able to play more shots although the faster bowlers will get some help."

--IANS/CMC

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