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No cancellation of matches at Kensington Oval

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ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 has categorically said that there has been no cancellation of matches at Kensington Oval leading up to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007.

The comment from Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Local Organising Committee, Stephen Alleyne, came in response to reports in the foreign press that matches scheduled to play at the Oval in the months prior to ICC CWC 2007 had to be cancelled due to delays in construction.{{more}}

“The ground authorities have never anticipated hosting any first-class cricket at Kensington Oval next year prior to ICC CWC 2007. Following the pitch-testing in September of this year, in concert with the ICC CWC 2007 Inc. we agreed on a programme for the re-growth of grass which did not allow or anticipate any first-class cricket until the beginning of the ICC CWC 2007 Event. The other fact mitigating against first-class games is that the first quarter of next year has been reserved for the overlay completion in preparation for the tournament. I am happy to report that all is proceeding according to plan,” said Alleyne.

Chief Corporate Communications Officer at the Barbados Local Organising Committee, Francine Charles, said the reports in the foreign press were misleading.

“In fact, both Kensington Oval and the 3Ws Oval at the University of the West Indies (which is hosting the warm-up matches) have already met all match and pitch-testing obligations. Two very special and historical local tournaments were hosted at the respective stadia in September and October this year and the reports on both pitch and outfield at Kensington in particular, were outstanding and encouraging,” Charles said.

As the venue for the Final of the ICC CWC 2007, Kensington Oval has the largest seating capacity for the tournament (27,000). Also as one of the premier cricket grounds in the world, the design of the redeveloped Kensington Oval ensures that the facility will be a state-of-the-art, world-class event centre attracting not only major sporting events post-CWC 2007 but international entertainment and cultural activities.

While the design is complex, all permanent works at Kensington Oval will be completed no later than the end of January 2007, two months before any ICC CWC 2007 matches are due to be played at the facility.