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Dunedin's main sporting venue, Carisbrook, is the home of Otago's cricket and rugby sides. Nestled at the entrance to a steep sided valley, The Glen, and flanked on two sides by the main South Island railway and accompanying Hillside Railway Workshops, Carisbrook lies about two miles southwest of Dunedin`s city centre in the suburb of Caversham.
It was in Caversham that one of the world`s finest players was born: C. V. "Clarrie" Grimmett - a player who never played for New Zealand, but instead made his name playing for Australia. Notable cricketers to have regarded Carisbrook as their home venue have included Glenn Turner, Bert Sutcliffe and Ken Rutherford. Carisbrook has been associated with cricket since 1883, when Otago played Tasmania. In the early days, the ground was rough, and it wasn't until the responsibilities for the upkeep of the ground passed to the hands of the Otago Rugby Football Union in the early 1900s that Carisbrook was properly drained and the surface relaid.
Dunedin is traditionally regarded as the coldest of the main centres, and although it is less rainy than Auckland and less windy than Wellington, there can be no doubt that touring sides do not relish the visit to the deep south. It has become something of a standing joke that teams from the tropics will literally "freeze up" on a cold Dunedin day, as notably happened to India during the 1991/92 World Cup.
Dunedin`s reputation for poor weather is no doubt exaggerated, and certainly Carisbrook has provided some of New Zealand`s most exciting cricket. Few New Zealand cricket fans will forget Gary Troup and local hero Stephen Boock producing a desperate last-wicket stand to beat West Indies in a 1979-80 Test match or, in another tail end stand, Jeremy Coney and Ewen Chatfield hanging on doggedly against Pakistan to produce a victory in 1984-85.
Recent developments have vastly improved players' facilities and the playing surface, and the addition of corporate boxes. Carisbrook can accommodate 30000 spectators, 10000 of them in covered seating. These are often accompanied by a further hundred or so watching for free from the traditional "Scotsman`s Grandstand" - a stretch of road running along the edge of the hill overlooking the playing arena.
Cricinfo staff May 2005
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