Editorial: Matches will bring joy to Bay

By Corey Charlton

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In June last year, I interviewed Napier Mayor Barbara Arnott about the city's chances of hosting some ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 games at McLean Park.

While at that stage Napier City Council staff were still in the process of negotiating and bidding, she indicated the council's strong interest and said "ideally" there would be two or three games hosted.

As it has transpired, we are set to host three matches featuring Pakistan, West Indies and the Black Caps. This is a fantastic result.

The local organising committee of ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, which will be jointly hosted by New Zealand and Australia from February 14 to March 29, said there would be 14 host cities and a 49-match schedule that would see every team play in New Zealand.

Many point to the economic benefits of such a tournament visiting our part of New Zealand, with restaurants, retailers, accommodation providers and more all set to directly benefit. It also has a global audience - numbering in the hundreds of millions - who are expected to watch the tournament.

These are all great reasons for hosting such events but all the economic and business-like back-slapping and posturing too often masks another fundamental reason for bringing the tournament to our shores.

That is, long, hot, summer days spent doing nothing but watching cricket are an absolute joy.

The announcement we are set to host three games featuring established cricketing nations in 2015 bodes well for our economy, but even better for the enthusiasts.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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