London, Feb 18 (AFP) The London 2012 Olympic archerycompetition will see stands built on the Lord''s pitch andarrows fired over the wicket but the Games organisers havepledged to protect cricket''s hallowed turf.
They have switched their plans so that the archers willnow fire from the Pavilion End, requiring the construction oftwo temporary stands on the home of cricket''s grass, in frontof the Pavilion.
England are due to host a Test match against South Africaat the north London venue within two weeks of the archerymedals being won, meaning there can be no slip-ups inreturning cricket''s sacred ground to normal.
The original plans had the archers shooting on anorth-south line, from the corner between the Pavilion and theTavern Stand.
However, it has been moved to a northeast-southwest linerunning directly over the wicket between the famous pavilionand the futuristic Media Centre.
Sports facility designer Jeff Keas, from the London 2012organisers'' venues team, said they didn''t feel the old lineshowcased Lord''s enough.
"We really went back to first principles: what makesLord''s Lord''s? The Pavilion, the Media Centre -- these are thethings that make it Lord''s," he told AFP.
He said the International Archery Federation and theMarylebone Cricket Club which owns the ground were boththrilled with the new plan.
"The real positive thing that happens there is that itdoes showcase the sport, it brings the spectators right innice and close on the athletes, it gives them that goodenergy, that good vibe."
Lord''s has seen some quick deliveries from the PavilionEnd before, but nothing this fast or deadly.
Keas insisted that firing arrows over the wicketpresented no threat to the precious square -- the world''s bestarchers were not going to miss the target that badly.
"We''re going to be in the outfield. The hallowed groundof the wicket will not be touched," he said.
"We''re only shooting arrows over it and the volunteerswho retrieve those arrows actually walk around it." (MORE) AFPSNK