Little impact from Grace as Sabina Park readies for second TestThursday, August 19, 2021
Heavy rainfall associated with the passage of Tropical Storm Grace on Tuesday has not set back preparation for tomorrow's start of the second Test at Sabina Park in Kingston, says curator Michael Hylton.
West Indies beat Pakistan by one wicket in a tense finish to the first Test on Sunday's fourth and penultimate day at Sabina Park.
The early ending to the series opener gave ground staff a head start in preparing for the second match.
“The whole day rain from the storm prevented us from working on the pitch for a day, but in terms of the preparation I would not say it affected us at all,” Hylton told the Jamaica Observer when contacted via telephone yesterday.
“The first Test finished in four days, so we had the fifth day [to begin preparing for the second Test], so we were one day ahead. From the evening of the fourth day we had already started our preparation,” he said.
The Meteorological Service of Jamaica estimated that rainfall amounting to more than 80 millimetres (three inches) drenched eastern and central parishes — Kingston included — as the storm swept across the country on Tuesday.
Sabina Park, which was among a list of international venues renovated for the region's hosting of the 2007 Cricket World Cup, has a recent history of draining quickly even after considerable rain.
Hylton, who has years of experience guiding Sabina Park's ground staff in getting the pitch and the field in immaculate condition, insisted that the second Test will be no different.
“Preparation of the pitch is going well; we used the number four [strip] for the first Test and we are going to use [the adjacent] number three for the second Test. We are on schedule… so right now we are unbothered and unfazed,” he said.
“The field drained brilliantly; it's fine. There is hardly evidence that there was rainfall — you're only seeing some grass that was cut coming up,” he added, noting that both teams were able to train on the field yesterday.
The curator told the Observer, however, that the practice nets area, located to the west of the cricket field, was affected by water and was not available for use yesterday.
— Sanjay Myers