It’s a race against time for Christchurch to be part of hosting the Women’s Cricket World Cup in 2021. The city will miss out if it can’t get permanent lights for Hagley Oval.
In 2011, Christchurch missed out on hosting Rugby World Cup matches because of the earthquakes.
In 2015, the Canterbury Cricket Trust were granted consent to build a pavilion, an embankment and install retractable lights.
The lights never got installed and now the venue doesn’t comply with broadcasting standards set by the International Cricket Council.
Now, the Trust is hoping to fast-track changes to the Greater Christchurch Generation Act and secure ministerial approval.
The bid’s being backed by New Zealand cricketing great Sir Richard Hadlee, who says it’s a “no brainer”.
“Look, it’s probably 20 days a year games would be played under lights, including first class, international and other events.
“Other grounds in the North Island, for example, six of them have lights and Christchurch just can’t compete unless we have them,” he said.
The trust’s chair, Lee Robinson, says the sport will be lost to the North Island and Cantabrian’s will miss out should the bid be declined.
Mr Robinson is lodging the final bid with the ICC tomorrow to host World Cup matches. It’ll be conditional, depending on the minister’s decision come the end of November.