New Zealand cricket December 20, 2004

Hamilton pitch gets green light

Cricinfo staff

New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has given Westpac Park in Hamilton the green light to stage international matches. The new pitch at the ground has been made out of South Island Waikari clay, and it was assessed after a State Championship match between Northern Districts and Auckland earlier this month.

The match lasted only three days, but according to a New Zealand Press Association report, an NZC spokesperson said that the surface had passed muster. David Cooper, the Northern Districts chief executive, was quoted as saying: "It's certainly probably played better than what we would have expected. Day two against Auckland it was as good a batting surface as you would expect at first-class level."

Sri Lanka will get to experience the pitch first-hand when they play a warm-up one-dayer against Northern Districts on Thursday.