Cricket: English open doors

By Cameron Leslie

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! English cricket team opens door to Whangarei public.

An open invitation has been extended to the Whangarei public to head to the Cobham Oval tomorrow and watch the English team train from 2pm to 5pm.

Members of the public have also been invited to trainings on Saturday (10am to 1pm) and Sunday (2pm to 5pm) before the first T20 kicks off on Monday.

Northland Cricket CEO Gary Bell challenged Whangarei to get into the T20 spirit and witness first-hand how the world's second best team trains.

"You see [balls being bowled at 140km plus] on TV, but the cameras make the ball seem a lot slower than it is," said Bell. "The split second decisions the batsmen have to make isn't portrayed well through the TV.

"They're big big men, and once again the TV cameras don't portray that. These are the guys you see on TV all the time, guys like [Steven] Finn and [Stuart] Broad, they'll be playing all through test series here but next year, too, they'll be playing the Ashes."

The invitation to Whangarei's public was initiated by Bell, who planted a seed with England's director of cricket when he visited the north to survey venues ahead of his team's visit.

Bell asked that the Northland public get organised and buy tickets to the Cobham Oval's two T20 warm-ups next week, saying buying tickets online will save a lot of mucking around on game-day.

Next week's T20s will be the first time dumped Black Caps captain Ross Taylor will be back in the international fold, when he pads up for the New Zealand XI on Monday.

Taylor will bat for the New Zealand side against England but he won't captain the side, which will instead be led by Andrew Ellis.

Taylor last played in the Black Caps' test victory over Sri Lanka in November, before deciding to take a break from the game when Brendon McCullum was named as replacement captain.

The Cobham Oval had received a great report card from international cricket bosses after last year's Waitangi Day one-dayer against Zimbabwe.

Bell said it showed what could be done at a provincial level, and he was hoping for more opportunities for Cobham Oval next year with both the West Indies and India touring.

To buy tickets to next week's T20 warm-up games, visit

England T20 squad:

Stuart Broad (capt), Jonny Bairstow, Danny Briggs, Jos Buttler, Jade Dernbach, Steven Finn, Alex Hales, Michael Lumb, Stuart Meaker, Eoin Morgan, Samit Patel, James Tredwell, Chris Woakes, Luke Wright.Depth shows gulf - P27


- Northern Advocate

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