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ARNOS VALE CRICKET GROUND RUNNING BEHIND SCHEDULE

ARNOS VALE CRICKET GROUND RUNNING BEHIND SCHEDULE

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The Local Organising Committee (LOC) for Cricket World Cup 2006 has 51 days in which to complete the $30 million makeover of the Arnos Vale facility and there are questions about whether they can make the deadline.

The answer is “yes and no”.

On December 31 when it hands over the property to the International Cricket Council (ICC) the double-decker stand will not be finished and that’s because it’s not a priority, said an LOC official.{{more}}

The LOC Construction Consultant Deirdre Myers told SEARCHLIGHT that as far as ICC was concerned the priority items were the media centre, players pavilion, and the pitches and the outfield.

With this understanding, she was confident that St Vincent and the Grenadines will get a favourable response from officials of the ICC when they visit November 24.

“We are shooting for handing over to the Cricket

World Cup Committee for the end of the year, this includes buildings, external works, fencing, basically the entire park,” Myers projected.

She disclosed that completion of the double-decker stand, which has holding capacity of 5,300 spectators, has been rescheduled to the end of January from its initial December 1 deadline.

Myers said that facility is not high on the priority list of the ICC. Myers however, has the completion of the Media Centre as her major focus of attention.

“It is the most complex of all buildings, not by design but by provisions, as it houses the written, radio and television press” Myers advanced.

The Construction Consultant said that there are measures in place in the event of any unforeseen circumstances.

“From my meetings with the various contractors we have looked at ways of increasing staff. They have done so in quite a few cases, worked on weekends and extended the working hours”, Myers admitted.

Project Manager Charlie Crichton, of Gibson Construction, the firm contracted to deliver the double-decker and media centre was terse in his comments.

“We will finish in time,” Crichton said.

St Vincent and the Grenadines will host Australia, England, Zimbabwe, and Bermuda in official warm up matches in March next year ahead of the group stages of Cricket World Cup.

An upgrade of the main Arnos Vale playing Field, the Sion Hill Playing Field and the Stubbs Playing Field began last year.

The latter fields that will be used as practice venues have undergone substantive renovations, with the re-grassing of the out fields and the erection of better players’ quarters.

Arnos Vale, the showpiece venue has taken the major chunk of the refurbishing with a reconfiguration of the facility and the realignment of the Arnos Vale River.

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