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Page last updated at 15:49 GMT, Thursday, 19 February 2009

No Swalec pitch fears - Russell

Swalec Stadium
The entire ground at the Swalec Stadium is being relaid

Glamorgan chairman Paul Russell says the relaying of the Swalec Stadium's pitch is on schedule and Derbyshire's visit on 28 April is not in any danger.

There were fears delays caused by bad weather would force the Championship game to be switched to another venue.

But Russell said work is progressing well on the surface which also plays host to the first Ashes Test in July.

"We were still some weeks away from panicking when we started laying the turf," Russell told BBC Wales.

"In so far as we've never really been off track for that, yes we will be playing Derbyshire on April 28.

Powell confident over Swalec pitch

"The latest news is that we have 60 per cent of the new turf laid. Our estimates are that it will be complete by the early part of next week.

"We are laying turf now at about the rate of 2,000 sq m a day. We've got about 10,000 sq m down with about 5,500 sq m to go.

"It's an enormous relief, yes. We suffered a great deal of ill-fortune in that we suffered from the worst winter weather for 30 years.

"But by stroke of good fortune or good management we had a very chunky contingency built into the programme."

New drainage has been installed ready for the first Ashes Test on 8 July.

Glamorgan's first fixture of the 2009 season is against Oxford University at The Parks on 15 April.

They travel to Lancashire in the Friends Provident Trophy on 19 April and open their Championship campaign against Middlesex at Lord's on 22 April.

606: DEBATE

The ground improvements are being carried out at a cost of £600,000 after heavy rain restricted the one-day international between England and South Africa last September to just 15 minutes.

Later in the year, head groundsman Len Smith retired after more than 20 years and ICC [International Cricket Council] chief pitch consultant Andy Atkinson was brought in as acting head groundsman.

Keith Exton was appointed in December to work alongside Atkinson.

"The problem has been that the turf has been grown in the north-east where they had a particularly cold snap, and then when it came to lay the turf it has been too wet here in Cardiff," added Russell.

"So we have had to deal with two different weather environments."



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see also
Cardiff set to host regular Tests
08 Dec 08 |  Glamorgan
New head groundsman for Glamorgan
16 Dec 08 |  Glamorgan
Groundsman handed Ashes mission
25 Sep 08 |  Glamorgan
Head groundsman leaves Glamorgan
17 Sep 08 |  Glamorgan
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales


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