A bit for bowlers, bats

By RACHAEL BORICH

BRISBANE cricket curator Kevin Mitchell Sen prides himself on producing "a good wicket'' and will settle for nothing less in Rockhampton this week.

Mitchell has a busy week ahead fine tuning the Rockhampton Cricket Grounds wickets to host this weekend's Suncorp XXXX Gold Bulls Country Challenge featuring Queenland Bulls cricketers playing in City and Country teams.

It is the first major cricket match Rockhampton has hosted since the early 1990s, when Sri Lanka played at the Rockhampton Cricket Grounds.

Mitchell said he always produced a good wicket. "We'll produce a good batting track, with a bit for the bowlers,'' Mitchell said.

Mitchell will give all three wickets ? the two practice wickets and the main pitch ? a light roll today to level off the surface.

The former Gabba curator of 14 years, until his retirement in 1988, will then further assess the ground tomorrow before putting the finishing touches in place on Thursday and Friday before Saturday's 50-over match and Sunday's Twenty20 big slog showdown.

"We'll have to keep the wicket down and roll it periodically and ensure that we protect it from the elements and ensure there's no major cracking,'' Mitchell said.

"Now it's mainly about getting it up to scratch.

"I'll also be doing an assessment on the oval.''

Mitchell will remain in Rockhampton for the rest of the week making daily checks on the wicket.

Entry to Saturday and Sunday's matches is a gold coin donation.

There are also corporate packages, valued at $1200, still available which include Friday night's sportsmans dinner and the two matches.

Saturday's play hits the field from 9.30am to 5pm before Sun- day's action gets into full swing from 11am to 2pm.

Andrew Bichel and Wade Seccombe will join the Country team while the City team includes players such as Clint Perren.



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