Is Eden Park hexed?

It has been 404 days since the Black Caps last won a cricket match at Eden Park and with the series-defining final test against England starting tomorrow, nzherald.co.nz investigates the claim that the ground is bad luck.

Yes it is hexed, the Black Caps will not win there.

If the fact that the Black Caps have lost their last four matches there doesn't worry you, then the manner of the defeats should.

In their last hit out - the ODI series decider - they were bowled out for 185, before England embarrassingly chased the target down in the 37th over. Two weeks earlier they thumped Brendon McCullum's men by 40 runs in the opening T20 match.

Maybe it's the short boundaries, maybe it's the over-zealous security guards, or maybe a certain Auckland ground brings out the very worst in the Kiwi players.

South Africa also battered the Black Caps at the ground by five wickets in an ODI this time last year, two weeks after New Zealand self-destructed in the T20. Chasing 166 they were 142 for three and needed less than a run a ball to win before the hex struck. If Jesse Ryder couldn't fight it off, nobody can.

The Black Caps have led the charge, but the Eden Park troubles have also rubbed off on the Blues and the Warriors.

30,000 people screaming the Warriors home over the Roosters last weekend didn't help, nor did the Blues' faithful fans that turned up to see Sir John's side steamrolled by the Bulls.

It's hard to think of a worse place to play the Black Caps' series decider.

Hexes are stupid, it's not really that bad.

Sure, the Black Caps' recent ODI and T20 record at the ground is poor, but what about the form of the game that really matters; tests?

Well, in the test department New Zealand are actually doing pretty well.

In their last four tests at Eden Park the Black Caps have beaten the West Indies, South Africa and England, while losing to Australia. Sure, these games took place between 2002 and 2006, but they can only beat the sides that are put in-front of them.

Besides, the Black Caps don't exactly win regularly anywhere. Our current crop aren't exactly lighting the world on fire.

As for the Blues, are we forgetting their morale-inspiring Super Rugby redemption victory over the Crusaders a few weeks ago? And if you want to bring in rugby, I'm pretty sure the All Blacks won a number of big games there in 2011.

Four short-form losses against England and South Africa doesn't spell a hex. It spells being outclassed by two of the best teams in the world.

And besides, the ground can't be that bad for New Zealand sport if even the Phoenix can win there.

-nzherald.co.nz

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