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Cardiff undergoes facelift

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Cardiff

The stands were knocked down and totally re-built from scratch © Andrew Hignell/Glamorgan Cricket Archives

To watch the full exclusive interview and preview the Cardiff ground on ECBtv, click here.

Glamorgan have spent the last two years gearing up for their Ashes Test in 2009 by overhauling their entire ground to make it international standard.

The fruits of their labours are now becoming apparent, with a brand new pavilion, media centre and grandstand.

Although Glamorgan have had little to smile about on the pitch in recent years - culminating in the loss of Simon Jones to Worcestershire - off the pitch, Cardiff is blooming.

Daffodil motifs adorn the seating area in the grandstand and there is a real sense of achievement around the ground.

To get more of a feel for the enormity of the undertaking, ECBtv spoke to chief executive Mike Fatkin, who said: "It has been a lot of hard work.

"For anybody who hasn't been down here for a couple of years, I guess it would be (a fantastic transformation). There is only really one building left standing.

"We said we were going to do it and it is nice to say we have done it."

The new grandstand is the piece de resistance and gives the ground a great focal point.

Cardiff

The huge new daffodil-adorned grandstand © Andrew Hignell/Glamorgan Cricket Archives

"It's a huge stand, holds over 5,000 people," Fatkin agreed. "It's nice to have the daffodils in there as well.

"But I think from our point of view, we are pleased to have kept the tree line - that sets the ground off as well.

"We are very sympathetic to our surroundings. It's a conservation area and we can't just stick any old building up. The plans have been very meticulous in that what we put up fits, and I think it does.

"It is quite nice to get rid of the old pavilion. I'm not sure if the original architect is still alive, in which case I might be offending him, but it was a bit of a monstrosity.

"It doesn't compare to the building we have got now."

As with all building work that is ever undertaken, a budget often means that things do not turn out quite as desired.

"We would have preferred the pavilion behind the bowlers' arm, but we didn't have the depth to get everything in that building," Fatkin admitted.

Cardiff

The proportioned media centre has great facilities © Andrew Hignell/Glamorgan Cricket Archives

"We would have liked the media centre to have been a bit bigger, but we had to proportion everything down. There are four radio boxes, two TV studios and room for 110 written journalists."

However, unlike most large contracted building work, it is still on target to finish on time.

"Our original target was to have this all done and ready for the end of March and have the ECB come down and inspect and check everything is ok by the end of April - which we are well on track for," Fatkin revealed.

There are still a few bits and pieces to be finished before the ground will be ready to receive visitors, with the county season just eight weeks away.

"Mostly it is just internals and landscaping - just fitting out everything," he said.

"We have got to learn how to use everything. That will probably take all summer - the geography is totally different to us as well."

As far as plans for the future go, Glamorgan have not finished yet.

"We are still looking at the option of a replay screen and upgrading the quality of the lights," Fatkin commented.

"Nothing spectacular. If you can do what we've done, literally from scratch, they shouldn't really present too many problems."

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