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'Unaffordable' and the wrong size: NZ Cricket sink the boot into Eden Park as they push for new Auckland international venue

New Zealand Cricket are firmly behind the idea of moving international matches in Auckland away from Eden Park, supporting the construction of a new ground for the city.

With all international cricket in Auckland currently staged at Eden Park, NZC chief executive David White has stated that a new venue is key for securing future matches, as well as world tournaments at all levels.

Matches at Eden Park have become a rarity in recent times, with Auckland having only hosted three Test matches since 2006, while specialist grounds such as Hamilton's Seddon Park and Christchurch's Hagley Oval have flourished as specialist venues.

A recent proposal from the RFA (Reigional Facilities Auckland) stated the desire to see Western Springs as a "world class cricket ground for all forms of cricket," something that White is supportive of.

"Auckland is currently missing out significantly on international cricket exposure due, primarily, to the lack of a cost-effective, financially-viable venue," White said in a statement.

"Eden Park - the only ICC-sanctioned arena in New Zealand’s most populous city, is unaffordable for all but the biggest and, by definition, the rarest of international cricket fixtures.

"Additionally, Eden Park's small size and rectangular, football-shaped playing field continually risks compromising the integrity of cricket matches hosted there. Resource consent restrictions and a lack of fan-friendly, cricket-specific features at the arena limits NZC’s ability to schedule a greater number of games in the city."

White is throwing his support behind the construction of a new venue in Auckland, cementing the city as the new home of international cricket in New Zealand.

"As proposed, a newly-developed cricket amenity, with a full-sized, oval-shaped playing arena; able to cater for both small and large crowds in a relaxed, grass-banked, more cricket-centric surrounding, would guarantee Auckland significantly more men's and women's international cricket."

"This facility has the potential to become the country's leading international cricket venue, as well as possibly accommodating NZC as a long-term tenant, and becoming a high-performance base for servicing professional men’s and women’s players."

Kane Williamson celebrates with team mates after taking a catch to dismiss Bairstow.
New Zealand Blackcaps v England. 1st day/night test match. Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand. Day 5, Monday 26 March 2018. © Copyright Photo: Andrew Cornaga / www.Photosport.nz
Kane Williamson celebrates with team mates after taking a catch to dismiss England's Jonny Bairstow. Source: Photosport