The pitches and outfields on which next year's ICC Cricket World Cup tournament will be contested will come under increasing scrutiny in the months ahead.
Both ICC CEO Malcolm Speed and ICC Cricket World Cup West Indies 2007 Inc. Managing Director and CEO Chris Dehring have signaled that while the 12 stadiums have been receiving much public attention, the playing conditions would be of utmost importance to the event's success.
"From now on we need to focus on the playing conditions - the pitches, the outfields - to make sure that they are of a very high standard because ultimately this event will be judged on the basis of the cricket that is played here in the 2007 Cricket World Cup," Speed told reporters in Jamaica after three days of meetings with officials from ICC CWC 2007 HQ.
Dehring also agreed it was vital that the grounds on which cricket will be played are of world-class standard.
"We are very much focusing on playing conditions; making sure our pitches and outfields are the finest collection of pitches and outfields that would have been prepared for any Cricket World Cup - and we are very much on track to deliver that.
"We have appointed a Sports Agronomy Team that is testing the pitches and outfields and making sure that the requisite standards are achieved. You would have already seen some of the standards that we have imposed on the Host Venues," he said referring to the first One-Day International between the West Indies and India earlier this year.
The pitches and outfields, Speed noted, would be part of the ICC CWC 2007 legacy and would allow the West Indies 'to host great cricket matches in the future'.