Cricket: CD captures two internationals

By Anendra Singh

The Central Districts region has secured two one-day international cricket matches between the Black Caps and West Indies this summer but have again missed out on test matches.

CD chief executive Hugh Henderson said yesterday they were delighted with the news that the region remained a significant venue in allocating international matches at a high level after Napier and Nelson scored games in the summer of 2013-14.

"We've done a fair bit of work behind the scenes on ways we can better deliver for them [New Zealand Cricket]," Henderson said after McLean Park, Napier, was named for the second ODI on December 29 while Saxton Oval, Nelson, will be hosting its first men's international, the fourth ODI, on January 4.

"With the World Cup matches on the back of that, we've cemented Napier, which is seen as a premier day/night venue for cricket."

McLean Park will host three ICC World Cup pool games in March 2015, involving Pakistan, West Indies and the Black Caps.

Saxton Oval has previously held a women's international and will host three men's World Cup pool matches in 2015.

The tourists from the Caribbean will play three tests, five ODIs and two Twenty20 internationals in eight towns and cities from Auckland to Queenstown, with the three tests at the country's premier test venues in Dunedin, Wellington and Hamilton, as part of the ANZ International Series.

Henderson said the behind-the-scenes work CD were engaged in was pertaining more to the process of how they and Napier and Nelson city councils could come up with a feasible proposition to run the games for NZ Cricket.

The region's challenge is to entice throngs of cricket spectators through the aisles, maintaining the numbers that descended at McLean Park last summer during the English tour.

On the flip side was the disappointment of missing out on the test matches against the Windies.

"We haven't disappeared as such but there's a movement or shuffle downwards," Henderson said, finding it difficult to put a finger on why but accepting when the bigger teams such as England, India and Australia toured it made sense to select metropolitan venues. "But I'll be very surprised if we don't get tests in the future."

Pukekura Park, New Plymouth, has secured World Cup qualifying matches but Henderson said if the council improved the pavilion and practice nets it would be "right up there" for internationals, too.

NZ Cricket chief executive David White is awaiting details of the Indian tour planned for January and February.

"I have to admit discussions with the Board of Cricket Control for India have taken longer than we hoped but we should be able to announce the tour schedule in the next few weeks."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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