Providence Stadium pitch and outfield pass test
By Roger Persaud
November 17, 2006
The green light which signalled that Guyana must continue batting in its quest to host the Super Eight matches of the International Cricket Council Cricket World Cup 2007 tournament was given to the Providence Stadium by the International Cricket Council's Venue Assessment Team (VAT) yesterday.
Some members of the 23-person ICC World Cup VAT visited several sites integral to the successful hosting of the event among them the Providence Stadium, as well as the Everest Cricket Club and the Georgetown Cricket Club grounds where agronomist Dr. Francis Lopez congratulated the stadium ground staff on their excellent work as he passed the Providence Stadium through its stage of testing.
Dr. Lopez was accompanied by West Indies fast bowling legend Andy Roberts and other officials.
Using a device called the "Clegg Impact Soil Tester" which measures impact deceleration in "g" units where the g stands for gravity, the team placed a tape from middle stump to middle stump on the pitch and took ten readings one metre apart on both sides of the tape.
According to Dr Lopez, the Providence pitch averages 300 "g" units and that was enough to pass the test. He said they were looking for in excess of 60 "g" units. A pitch reading higher than 450 g units were too hard and the perfect pitch will test around 320-340 g units, Dr. Lopez said.
He also said that controlling the moisture in the pitch would control the speed of the pitch. The harder the pitch, the more it retained pace but if it were too hard the bounce would be too high.
Dr Lopez now a research fellow at the Cave Hill campus says pitch testing is his current big project. He will test all of the the nine venues that will be used for World Cup matches as well as the warm up match venues, Everest and GCC.
Dr Lopez said the outfield at the Providence Stadium still need quite a bit of work but he added that he was confident the local staff would have it ready.
Members of the team visited several area hotels as part of their venue assessment.
Also at the stadium were Mike Brown and Mike Merifield, two South Africans from Three-D-Signs Internat-ional the company contracted to paint the signs on the outfield. These signs, although applied directly to the grass surface when viewed through the television cameras appear to be vertical or three dimensional.
The signs are significantly more effective than perimeter boards and are the most visible and valuable branding element at any televised sponsorship event. Meanwhile a practice match was played between teams captained by former West Indies opener Ryan Ramdass and Essequibo skipper Trevon Garraway at the Providence Stadium.
Ramdass's XI batted first and scored 184 for six in 40 overs. Garraway's XI responded with 116 for 9 in 32 overs.
Umpire Andrew Allen who officiated in the informal match along with Hortense Issacs said the pitch started out low and slow but picked up pace later in the day.