Georgetown: The pitch for the first Test between West Indies and Sri Lanka will be ready, Guyana Cricket Board president insisted on Sunday.
Chetram Singh's assurance came after the tour match between a West Indies Select XI and Sri Lanka, starting on Monday, had to be switched to the Guyana National Stadium just outside the capital.
The three-day match was scheduled for Bourda Oval, but several days of unseasonal heavy rainfall completely waterlogged the ground and preparations were stalled.
Bourda Oval was the long-standing international venue in Guyana before the National Stadium was constructed in time for the 2007 World Cup.
"After Bourda Oval was under water for several days, we consulted the West Indies Cricket Board about using the National Stadium for the warm-up match," he said.
"We were told once we do not use the same pitch it would be fine and the pitch we are using (for the warm up game) is two pitches away from the one we will be using for the Test match."
Singh disclosed that the grounds men will work on the pitch early in the mornings and late on the evenings to make sure that a quality surface is produced for the Test.
"We started the preparations for the Test match earlier than usual so we will ensure that the three day match will not disturb the Test pitch to a level of Test match readiness," Singh said.
Singh also revealed that ticket sales for the Test were slow but picked up late last week, after the constant rainfall eased.
"Ticket sales picked up on Friday after two days of little rain and much sunshine and we're hoping from Monday that the sales will pick up further with additional publicity and the cricket fever kicking in with the public knowing that the Sri Lankans are here," Singh explained.
This is the first time the Guyana National Stadium will host a Test match after being initially used for six World Cup matches last year, and Singh asserted that the facility is much better for the organizers.
"The confusion we usually have at Bourda at the gates and so on, we don't foresee that same confusion at the stadium," he said.
"Parking facilities will be much better at the stadium because there is a huge parking space in front the stadium and because the stadium was constructed to specific International Cricket Council regulations the entire running of cricket at the Stadium is going to be much easier.
"Also in terms of security, I think the stadium has a better security plan being a newly constructed stadium," he added.
The 15,000-seater Guyana National Stadium is the third international venue in Guyana, following Bourda and Albion which hosted five One Day Internationals between 1977 and 1985.