Oval 'Office': Simon Harvey putting the final touches on the wicket at Cobham Oval ahead of the three-day match between Pakistan and the New Zealand XI which starts tomorrow. Photo / John Stone
Ground preparation is a labour of love and someone has to do it.
Whangarei's Simon Harvey and the Recreational Services crew have been putting in some long hours over the last month - working 13-14 hour days, including Christmas Day to prepare the pitch at Cobham Oval in time for the three-day match between Pakistan and a New Zealand XI.
It is the first international staged at the ground since 1994, and Harvey, who is in charge of preparing the wicket, is feeling the pressure.
"I've worked here for four years now and I have prepared the wicket for all of the first class games held here - but never an international game. It has involved more work as there is more pressure to get it right for the game," the 25-year-old said.
However, Harvey is a perfectionist and thanks to his toil over the summer, the pitch and practice strips are looking reasonable ahead of the first day of the international match, tomorrow.
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