Editorial: Cup bid is good for city

By Dylan Thorne

1 comment

This week we ran a story about Tauranga's bid to step on to the world cricketing stage.

The Bay of Plenty Cricket Trust is trying to win selection as a venue for a Cricket World Cup qualifying tournament.

The month-long tournament in January will feature 10 non-test playing nations vying for the last two places in the 2015 World Cup to be played in Australia and New Zealand.

I think it's fantastic to see a local sports organisation looking to attract international matches to the city.

If Tauranga's bid is successful, it will host five of the 10 teams for warm-up games followed by the round-robin competition.

Those behind the bid are confident Tauranga will win selection as the North Island hub for the tournament.

The non-test playing nations vying for the 14 World Cup places include Kenya, Canada, Afghanistan, Ireland, Holland and the United States.

Clearly the teams involved are the minnows of the cricket world and it is unlikely that the matches will attract oversees visitors but they will hopefully attract ex-pats already living in New Zealand.

The teams and administrators will also need somewhere to stay and that will have spin offs for the accommodation sector.

Bay of Plenty Cricket Trust general manager Kelvin Jones estimated the tournament would inject more than $1 million into Tauranga's economy.

On top of this cricket fans would get to see up to 12 50-over matches at Blake Park which had an international standard wicket and outfield.

As this paper has pointed out in the past, Tauranga's population base - it is the fifth-largest city in the country - suggests it should not be starved of international acts.

Last year's successful international netball double-header at ASB Arena proved there is an appetite for international matches in the city and the cricket trust is trying to capitalise on that.

It is good to see the trust going on the front foot to attract international matches to the city. To get those events the city needs to throw its support behind such organisations.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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