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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Atkinson satisfied with Wankhede, mum on Kotla

Atkinson satisfied with Wankhede, mum on Kotla

Last updated on: February 17, 2010 12:19 IST

Andy Atkinson, the International Crcket Council's chief pitch consultant, expressed satisfaction with the progress of work at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai but remained mum on Delhi's Ferozshah Kotla ground.

Prior to Wankhede, Atkinson inspected the Kotla ground -- banned for a year from hosting international matches after the abandoned India-Sri Lanka one-dayer last year -- on February 14.

"I won't comment on Delhi, as I still have to give a report to the ICC. Chennai was fine, there will be something or the other issue at every place, but nothing which can't be sorted out," he said on Tuesday.

"We have got time on our hands. It's a major thing to prepare eight grounds for the World Cup. Things are on target at the moment. We're happy," he added.

Atkinson, who was in Mumbai to inspect the work at the Wankhede ground, said though there are some concerns he was satisfied with the progress of work at the venue for the World Cup final.

"Had a chat with the designers and other people concerned. I am fairly satisfied with the work. We mainly had a discussion about the field of play," he said.

"It's got to be a big challenge as there is a lot to do in a short time, but I'm satisfied at this moment with the way things are. It's still a year to go. I have seen grounds built in a short time than this," he added.

"By March 1, they'll [pitch authorities] have the ground and then they'll start to build the pitch in the middle. I think it's September they'll finish the drainage. Looking to play matches here by November," Atkinson said.

"We're lucky to get good conditions for the grass to grow here. Grass can grow 12 months a year. It's just a matter of how long and how wet the monsoon is. That'll obviously make a big difference.

"They'll have to get the plants ready to be grown before the monsoon and use the monsoon to our advantage. I think, they'll be ready to play practice matches in November," he added.

Stating that there are no concerns about preparation of grounds in Sri Lanka, Atkinson said at least two 50-over games will have to be played on each pitch that would be used for the World Cup.

"We require to play at least two matches on each of the two pitches to be used for the World Cup. We are trying to play those matches between September and October. Then all the experts and safety will come. Actually, October 31 is the cut-off date," he said.

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