April 4, 2009

Offbeat

A field of dreams left incomplete

Siddhartha Talya

The 1980’s film Arthur’s Hallowed Ground tells the story of a possessive curator who has tended the same school cricket field for half a century and strives to bring to fruition his idea of a perfect pitch, against the wishes of his seniors who want him to create a track which suits the struggling home team. Auckland businessman Derek Evennett faces no such obstacles, for he owns the Coatesville Cricket Ground, the realisation of his own ambition to create the ideal cricketing venue.

Bought at a price of NZ$1.06 million, the ground was built to international specifications, with 70-metre boundaries, and has played host to several club and school-level matches. However, Evennett, who has spent a lifetime playing and umpiring the game around the world, has regrettably stopped short of taking the next step – building a pavilion. He has instead put it up on sale, hoping for another “fanatic” to step in and complete the task. Arthur didn’t own his ground but his devotion to it imbued him with a sense of ownership. Evennett, on the other hand, has opted to relinquish his own prized possession and left his dream incomplete.

Siddhartha Talya is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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