Weather key as Providence pitch curator promises 170 -180 totals
By Akeem Greene
Head Curator at the National Stadium, Providence, Wazim Habib, said if there is favourable weather over the next two weeks it will have a significant impact on the quality of pitches on offer for three the Twenty20 Internationals between West Indies and Pakistan.
The two sides battle on July 31, August 1, and 3 from 11:00h, and on Tuesday, Habib began the preparation of the pitch with the expectation that it will produce an exciting duel between bat and ball.
“The preparation of the outfield is going fine so far; we now started the initial preparation which is the light-rolling on the square which is good, so far it’s going good for the first day as the preparation goes on,” Habib told News Room Sport on Tuesday during a visit.
“Since we re-laid the main pitches [in 2016] on the main square, the scores have improved a lot and we are looking at 170-180, which is a good score on this track,” he added.
International cricket has not been played at the Stadium since August 2019 when West Indies clashed with India; the last First-Class match was in March 2020.
During the 2019 Caribbean Premier League, there were three totals in excess of 180, with the highest – 218 – made by the Guyana Amazon Warriors against Barbados Tridents who made 188 in response.
The other totals were around the 140-150 mark.
The Head Curator emphasised preparation is important and has fast-track such works, but “it is all about the weather now”, he said.
“It has been a while since we have cricket, and I am trying to leave a bit more grass on the wicket and in terms of preparation, change up a bit, so we can have more consistent bounce and more coming through to the bat,” the man from Enterprise, East Coast Demerara, expressed.
Noting the soil is good, Habib expects a lot of “wear and tear” over the three matches in quick succession, given the amount of moisture that will be left in the wicket.
As it regards the outfield, which should have boundary sizes of 70m, Habib explained: “This outfield normally would be quick but it all will be about the weather. The grass is very low right now; it is at its best.”
“I love to prepare pitches, if I don’t prepare a pitch, it is like I am missing something, this is what I do and I am glad to be here again trying my best to put up good pitches so that we can see some good cricket.”
In 2018, he was recognised as the best groundsman of the Hero Caribbean Premier League, which came as a result of the grand transformation at Guyana’s only accredited International Cricket Council venue.