Eden Park outer oval possible future Test venue

Lynn McConnell

August 13, 2001

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Plans for the development of Eden Park's outer oval as a Test venue have been given to the ground's board of control.

In his final report as chairman of the Auckland Cricket Association Don Hattaway said, "New Zealand Cricket have made if very clear that they wish Test match cricket to be played in stadia which better portray the image of cricket to spectators, sponsors, media and television audiences.

"As a consequence we have submitted a proposal to Eden Park for the development of the outer oval into a cricket-only venue which would be suitable for Test cricket.

"As the proposal incorporates initial drawings, considerable further work will be required to cost the proposal should it be agreed to in principle."

Meanwhile, Auckland's chief executive Lindsay Crocker also commented in the association's annual report on the increasing dependence on NZC for annual funding.

"This is a natural progression from the expansion of the international schedule, and associated increase in gate and television revenue.

"The incremental income accruing to NZC in future from the sale of television rights of International Cricket Council events, principally the World Cup and the Mini World Cup, show projections of staggering income coming into the game.

"As a result, the financial future of the game seems assured," he said.

With this in mind, and the increasing competition among major centres for Test matches, Auckland has been working hard to retain Eden Park as a favoured ground for Test consideration.

Hattaway said that with the encroachment of rugby into the cricket season, careful management was required to ensure cricket retained its full rights.

"The recognition of cricket as an important sport at Eden Park is evidenced by the investment into portable pitches, so that both cricket and rugby can be accommodated.

"This was a first for Eden Park and we are confident that quality portable pitches will be available for future Test matches and One-Day Internationals," he said.

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