Eden Park Tests on hold as cricket seeks alternative venue

2018-05-22 09:09
Eden Park (AFP)

Wellington - New Zealand Cricket says it favours developing a new Test venue in Auckland because Eden Park, which has hosted Test matches for 88 years, is no longer financially viable. 

Chief executive David White said Eden Park will not host a Test when Sri Lanka and Bangladesh tour next year and NZC hopes to see a former speedway track, Western Springs, become the new international cricket venue in New Zealand's biggest city. 

Eden Park was a venue in New Zealand's first Test series in 1930, hosted the match against the West Indies in which New Zealand claimed its first Test win in 1956, hosted a semi-final of the 2015 Cricket World Cup and earlier this year was the venue for New Zealand's first day-night Test. 

But in a submission to the Auckland Council, as part of its venue development strategy, White said it was a "challenge financially" to stage Test matches at Eden Park and it would likely not be awarded Tests until an alternative venue in Auckland could be found. 

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

White said those were the reasons the Auckland has hosted just three Test matches since 2006, and the number of one-day internationals and T20 internationals played in the city "has been a mere fraction of what it would be were it to offer a fit-for-purpose, international-standard cricket ground." 

New Zealand Cricket, he said, hopes to see Western Springs developed into "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."

Read more on:    cricket


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Following the Proteas' dire tour of India, how will their 4-Test series against England pan out?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.