'The guys said it's perfect' - Napier ready for international cricket return after two-year absence

Hawke's Bay cricket fans turned out at Napier's Nelson Park today to get a glimpse of a Black Caps training.

They are a side that hasn't been seen in the area for two years.

Mclean Park was taken off the international cricket circuit in 2016 after a brief downpour before a Chappell-Hadlee match failed to drain away, keeping fans waiting for hours before the game was abandoned.

A brand new hybrid turf has cost the Napier City Council nearly $5 million to try prevent any future drainage problems.

Batsman Ross Taylor says it's good to be back for the first ODI of the series against India.

"It's always a special place for me," he said. "I made my debut here, I got my first ODI hundred. It's nice to be here and play in front of family and friends, and it's been a while."

However, not all of the Central Stag's family can make the game.

"Dad was a bit gutted he's got to have a hernia operation!" he revealed. "When he heard it was a Napier game he tried to ring up and get it shifted, but he couldn't."

Revitalised all-rounder Doug Bracewell is keen to bring his T20 form to the one-day scene in front of his hometown after he failed to feature in the ODIs vs Sri Lanka.

"While you are on the sidelines, you want to be out there giving it a good crack," he said. "But when the team's playing so well, you can't complain."

However, not everyone's pleased to be back at the ground known for its short boundaries.

"Probably, for the batters point of view, yes .... The bowlers, probably not as much," he said.

Deborah Stewart from the Napier City Council says they are nervous but confident about the new turf's performance.

"We had about 120 mils [of rain] last week and the guys said it's perfect so we are very excited," she said.

It's not looking likely it will be tested, with a forecast of fine weather and 30 degrees.

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McLean Park will host Wednesday ODI series opener, nearly two years after their last match. Source: 1 NEWS