Eden Park gets makeover

Plans are afoot in New Zealand to turn Eden Park?s outer oval into a Test standard ground as Auckland have been excluded from any Test match cricket during the 2008 season, something that rankled Auckland Cricket and forced them to play their hand. Bangladesh and England are both touring next summer and Auckland has been excluded from any Test matches, with New Zealand Cricket opting to give smaller venues a chance at hosting international games.

Venues such as the University Oval in Dunedin and Seddon
Park in Hamilton are both cricket specific grounds that are easier to run than corporate grounds like Eden Park and Jade Stadium. The shift in focus is a welcome one, as smaller grounds will not look as small given the lack of attendance, but they will also add scenery and personality to Test matches, something Eden Park and Jade Stadium struggled to do.

“We’ve done the groundwork and believe we are very close to complying with the International Cricket Council at the moment,” Auckland chairman Brent King said yesterday. The playing area in the outer oval is sufficient to host international games, but improved security and media facilities are two such issues that Auckland Cricket will need to address. King confirmed that they are expecting the ICC to review the ground later this year.

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