ODI cricket organisers caught out over wine

By Doug Laing

Organisers of the one-day cricket international in Napier are putting their hands up over a shortage of wine on Wednesday.

"That's our fault," said Central Districts Cricket Association chief executive Hugh Henderson, confirming the wine was all out even before the Black Caps, who were batting first.

But the beer supply batted right down to No11, with it still available when time was called towards the end of the match.

It was in contrast to last year's one-dayer between New Zealand and South Africa when, with a smaller crowd, there was "a helluva lot" of wine left over while the beer ran out.

Mr Henderson said there was more wine this year, but was mystified over such a reversal of form in the stands and on the embankment.

When he became aware about 5pm that there wasn't enough wine, "a lot of thought" went into resolving the issue, but the wine had to be in special maximum-serve plastic bottles to comply with the ground's liquor licence.

"It has to be ordered," he said. "We can't just run down to the nearest liquor store and get some more."

He's promising to get it right next time, and said: "We are trying to give the spectators the ultimate cricket experience, so we are sorry for anyone that turned up and did not have a good time."

The matter was raised in a letter to the editor of Hawke's Bay Today by Clive woman Susan Davidson, who has spent many years in the hospitality industry and serving customers.

It was a "sad day" for reasons other than the Black Caps' loss she said, indicating it wasn't the first time she'd not quite been requited at the ground.

"Once again, McLean Park failed me," she said.

Heading to the park after work and taking friends from Britain, they'd just found the "$25 seats" when they discovered the supply of sponsor Brancott Estate's product had expired. It was "a let-down after I had done my ambassadorial role of explaining we could sip on whilst we watched".

She was less than impressed with the attitude of the security officer she encountered in her disappointment.

"What's the story?" she wrote. "If you want to make events alcohol-free just publicise it, please. Or manage things better not to discriminate against middle-aged fans."

Apart from the wine, it was a good day, said Mr Henderson. Including those in hospitality boxes, about 7000 attended, a similar number to the turnout at Sunday's match between the teams in Hamilton.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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