Bourda will be in top shape for first Test
- Chetram Singh By Clyde Pestano
Stabroek News
March 27, 2003

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Chetram Singh, president of the Guyana Cricket Board has revealed that the board is currently in the process of sprucing up Guyana's only Test venue, Bourda.

The president took Stabroek Sport on a tour of the ground and its outskirts to disprove claims made by a letter writer to this newspaper.

The writer, Baldeo Persaud, claimed that many of the stands at the ground were in a deplorable state and that the `rails' stand was made up of rotten boards, thus making it impossible to sit there to view cricket.

Persaud also alluded to the Clive Lloyd Stand, which he said, "seemed weak and liable to collapse at any time."

Singh in refuting these claims, showed Stabroek Sport some of the work being done which included repainting of several stands, and some minor renovations to the Rohan Kanhai, Clive Lloyd, and `rails' stands.

Substantial work has been done at the ground recently Singh said, adding that the `rails' stand referred to by Persaud was repaired and the old boards replaced.

When Stabroek Sport visited the world famous sward work was still in progress. Many workmen were seen putting finishing touches to several stands.

Singh pointed out that last week the board had the drains cleaned and dug, outside of the ground so that in the event of rain drainage will be assured.

The president mentioned that the only nagging problem at the moment had to do with the dryness of the outfield which he said needed watering frequently.

He also expressed concern about the boundaries which were actually at the `foot' of the stands and said that this was dangerous because if a cricketer tried to save a ball from going into the boundary he might injure himself.

Singh stated that while most of the grounds in the Caribbean are sub-standard, it was unfair that persons have sought to single out, Bourda for criticism.

Meanwhile the Australian tour match against a President's XI team will go ahead as planned, Singh said.

The match will be played at the Everest Cricket Club ground from April 5-7.

The Australian Cricket Board (ACB) had requested the tour game be moved but the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) denied the request.

The ACB has since been encouraged by guarantees on player safety from the WICB, and by a recent downgrading of the travel advisory on Guyana issued by Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

"The security situation in Guyana remains tense and unpredictable," the DFAT advice says. "Armed robberies, indiscriminate shootings, car-jackings and kidnappings in the capital, Georgetown, have resulted in a number of deaths."

The ACB's general manager of cricket operations, Michael Brown, said the board accepted the WICB's wish for the tour match to proceed.

"We spoke to the WICB about the possibility of cancelling or relocating the tour match," he said. "The WICB said it would not be possible, and that's understandable.

The WICB has given us assurances on player safety, and we're comfortable with that."

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