Multi-million repair works underway at National Stadium

-Stadium facing ‘mole cricket infestation’ says General Manager Anthony Xavier

“The scarification process takes place on the Providence field to remove mole crickets in preparation for a busy 2018”

The Guyana National Stadium at Providence will be the beneficiary of repair works to the tune of millions and already there are signs that the work is panning out.

In an interview with Stabroek Sports, General Manager, Anthony Xavier and Assistant Manager, Mahinder Ghanshiam, told this newspaper in an exclusive interview that the cost of the repairs was in the range of 5-10 million dollars.

According to Xavier, work is already underway and a recent inspection by Stabroek News Sport, confirmed this.

Xavier declared that workson the Stadium are “perpetual” and is “costly”.

“The National Stadium was erected in 2007 so we are in our 11th year and we are in a perpetual state of maintenance. We continue to maintain the stadium throughout the year whether we have activities or not. We decided a long time ago that we would like to be prepared for any event or eventuality and it cost us a lot to do that,” Xavier said.

Anthony Xavier

He added:“This year we will have some areas repainted, definitely have some seats repaired, servicing our air condition units and we have quite a few and all will be done in the first quarter [of 2018].”

Xavier pointed out that there were a few loose zinc sheets on the roof of one of the stands and that has already been repaired while assuring that the hole in the window of the main dining area will be fixed and that it …“is nothing to sweat over.”

However, the General Manager indicated that while he may not term it as a problem, the Stadium is facing “mole cricket infestation” or as he calls it “a disease” which is “the worse problem they’ve had in the 11 years of the stadium.

But nevertheless they have begun the process of remedying the situation with the field being scarified.

“We had problems with the outfield, which is the worst problem we had in the 11 years which is the mole cricket diseases. Right now, we are in the process of rectifying it. We have scarified the outfield, the sprayer is now applying the chemical and then the fertilizer and allowing the grass to grow takes about 2-3 months, but I have been assured by the chemical experts it should solve the problems,” said Xavier. There are also plans to install a replay screen.

Minister of Social Cohesion with responsibility of Culture, Youth and Sport, George Norton had earlier said there is an intention to acquire the screen before November since a number of International Cricket Council (ICC) 2018 Women’s Twenty20 preliminary games are scheduled to play here.

It was previously indicated by Director of Sport, Christopher Jones in a recent interview that having a replay screen is one of the prerequisites needed for the hosting of the 2018 Women’s Twernty20.

“The replay screen, we are working on that. The Director of Sport, Christopher Jones indicated to me that with a representative from the Ministry of Finance we are working to see if we can acquire it for the upcoming cricket,” Xavier pointed out adding….“the screen we are hoping to get also gives scores giving a combination of a replay screen and a scoreboard and is the latest in the replay screen editions out of India.”

The National Stadium was built in 2006 and hosted its first match on March 28, 2007, a Super Eight match of the ICC World Cup 2007.

The venue last hosted an international match in 2017 with the West Indies taking on Pakistan.

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