Tauranga to host qualifiers

By Sonya Bateson


Tauranga has been named as one of the hosts for the ICC Cricket World Cup qualifying tournament in 2014.

The month-long tournament in January and February 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.

Trustee Neil Craig said winning a place as a venue for the qualifying games was fantastic news. "We expect to get a number of games and to have teams based here. We didn't know for certain until the announcement last night. Our belief is we've done a really good job and if we get good feedback we may well get some practice games before the 2015 cup."

Mr Craig said there would be a number of warm-up games held before the World Cup and the trust's objective was to put themselves in the frame to host several of those as well.

He said the games would be good for Tauranga's economy.

"The preliminaries won't attract a large spectator audience but even a single team with their entourage, family and followers will stay for several days each game over almost two months.

"The preliminary tournament alone will attract a lot of visitors to the region and if we get warm- up games we will get a bigger spectator audience."

Hosting the games would also show that the Bay Oval was one of the best in New Zealand.

"We want to be a centre of excellence in cricket."

Mr Craig said in the past few years, the trust had spent in excess of $2 million to build a pavilion, which was still under construction, and the best part of $100,000 on 18 practice wickets. The Tauranga City Council has also put $35,000 towards a first class standard wicket.

Tauranga Mayor Stuart Crosby said bringing events like the international cricket tournament to the city added an extra level of vibrancy and excitement for residents and would attract a number of new visitors.

"Tauranga is already buzzing at this time of year and we will now have even more entertainment options over the coming summer season. The council provided support to the trust's bid through the annual plan process through wicket upgrades at Blake Park and an agreement to increase operational funding."

Mr Crosby said the council would continue working with the trust to make the qualifier event a huge success.


The Cricket World Cup qualifying tournament



  • Teams from 10 nations will battle for two places in the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2015.


  • The World Cup will be held in Australia and New Zealand.


  • The participating nations will be 10 of the following 11: Afghanistan, Canada, Hong Kong, Kenya, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Scotland, Uganda, United Arab Emirates.


  • The Bay Oval at Mount Maunganui will join New Plymouth, Hamilton, Christchurch, Rangiora, Lincoln and Queenstown as venues for the qualifying tournament.


- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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