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Curator pitching in

Staff at the Coffs Coast International Stadium, from left, Daniel Harris, Shane Hurry, Bob Schmitt and Russell Fensom preparing
Staff at the Coffs Coast International Stadium, from left, Daniel Harris, Shane Hurry, Bob Schmitt and Russell Fensom preparing

By GREG WHITE

COFFS Coast International Stadium curator Russell Fensom has two scenarios for tomorrow's ING Cup clash, each dependent on the weather.

Fensom will be on the ground as dawn breaks putting final touches to the wicket for the 10am start of play.

What if it rains, we asked him?

"I'll panic," was Fensom's quick reply.

"No, seriously, we have the covers from Brelsford Park and Fitzroy Oval provided by the cricket association and the manpower to get them on, so there should be no problems."

While it was still on it's way from Melbourne when Fensom spoke to the Coffs Coast Advocate, a 'super sopper' will be on standby should things get tricky.

And, if there's no rain?

"I won't panic," Fensom laughed.

In the final hours before the umpires call 'play', Fensom and his team will mow and re-mark the wicket before adding one final touch.

"We'll trim any last traces of grass then put the roller over it one last time," he said.

"After that, it's in the hands of the players."

Work began preparing the wicket a month ago and Fensom makes no denial recent heavy rainfall has given him nightmares.

"The heavy duty roller's been working overtime," he said.

"We were asked to make some adjustments after the last game played here and the rain made complying with those requirements very difficult.

"But I think you'll find we managed it."

With the SpeedBlitz Blues designated home team, Fensom has created dimensions on the playing area as close to the SCG as possible.

"Once the ropes go out the far boundaries will be 75 metres away from the stumps and two metres in from the grandstand fence for the side view," he said.

"They'll feel like they haven't left Sydney."

When the big day concludes, Fensom is taking his workers on a trip.

"Believe it or not, we're leaving for Lismore to watch some cricket.

"We want to catch the big game up there without worrying about work."