Manuka Oval curator Tom Fahey admits there's been more than a few sleepless nights throughout the past two months. "Will we get the pitch ready? What happens if we don't? I can't let down some of Australia's best cricketers." They're the thoughts of the man tasked with completing one of the most complex turnarounds Manuka Oval has seen in years as Fahey raced to prepare the ground for the start of this week's Prime Minister's XI clash. Every inch of grass on the field was ripped up just two months ago, with new turf trucked in from Adelaide. The process itself happens every few years but the situation this time was different. Ten weeks is a tight window and everything needs to run smoothly to make it work. With some of Australia's cricketers taking to Manuka Oval for the next four days, Fahey knew the process had to be perfect. Mother nature, however, had other ideas and threw multiple spanners into the works. "We've had a tricky period," Fahey said. "We've had frost, we've had heat stress, it was a little bit slow going early on. The laying of the field was delayed a little bit, one side was laid earlier than the other, so we had to treat each side differently." Despite the unexpected hurdles, Fahey and his team did everything they could to keep the turf regeneration process on track. While the grass was laid mid-October, the groundstaff needed to ensure the roots had time to embed themselves into the ground. It's a process that takes at least six weeks. The last thing Fahey wants to see is an injury after a player had come unstuck on a dodgy piece of turf. Day by day the curator slowly grew more confident things were on track and breathed a sigh of relief after Cricket Australia sent an official to inspect the ground's progress in November. "Cricket Australia came and had a look at it, gave it the all clear," Fahey said. "That gave us confidence we were doing alright. "We were very lucky we got some hot weather. The ground's only just kicked on in the last week or so, that's only when we felt confident we were ready for play." Fahey has navigated dual priorities for the past couple of months, the curator also tasked with preparing the centre wicket for a summer of cricket following the winter. The early days of this process were largely smooth, however the curator has been around long enough to know a curve ball is coming sooner or later. That came last week when more than a month's worth of rain hit in two days, with more following over the weekend. Suddenly Fahey was back in damage control. Making the task even harder is the fact they're currently in the process of preparing not one, but two wickets. With the Sydney Thunder playing a Big Bash game at Manuka Oval next Tuesday, the curators are attempting to produce two vastly different pitches. "It's tricky with the time frame and they are two different types of wickets," Fahey said. "One we want to last for four days, the other one we want hard and fast. The preparation has been tricky with this weather around. "There'll be a lot of rolling throughout the game on the Big Bash wicket to prepare it and keep it together to get it ready for December 12." While the Prime Minister's XI pitch was green on the weekend, it's likely to dry out as temperatures soar above 30 degrees this week. A week of rain followed by a week of baking sun is among Fahey's nightmare scenarios, but the curator is confident the wicket will produce an even balance between bat and ball across all four days. "It's a management issue," Fahey said. "We can't get the water we need to in it when it's raining because we're keeping it drier to protect it under the covers. "The prep started again on Sunday. We did our early prep, then last week we were in damage control and now we started again on Sunday. With Monday and Tuesday being quite warm it gave us flexibility to get water into it. "I'm confident it will be a good contest between bat and ball. We've got great hot weather so it should deteriorate later in the week and spin will come into it. Hopefully we get a result, that's the aim of the game."