Auckland Cricket pushes for India test at Eden Park

By David Leggat

Auckland Cricket will vigorously pursue a test at Eden Park against India next summer.

Having come through the trial of the drawn third test against England after a six-year drought, Auckland Cricket are enthusiastic for more.

The last test at Eden Park was against the West Indies in 2006 before New Zealand Cricket made a philosophical shift to smaller, boutique grounds for five-day cricket. There were 29 tests in New Zealand between the West Indies international and England this week. But the England test worked on all counts, according to Auckland Cricket chief executive Mark Cameron.

"We're rapt. The crowds were very good [38,000 over the five days] and all the feedback we've had in terms of the venue itself, the pitch, the facilities has been really good."

Part of the week was about "re-engaging" Auckland cricket fans with test cricket, Cameron added.

The short straight boundaries didn't become a factor in the test.

"A lot has been made of that. Both teams have to play to the conditions but it didn't really come into play."

White confirmed Eden Park will probably only be considered for tests against the big nations; Australia, India, South Africa and England. A test against India at Eden Park next summer is "a possibility", White added.

"Clearly you've got a significant Indian population in Auckland so we can build off that," Cameron said. "We don't want to wait another six years. We need to have one every year to get this moving forward."

Hosting the bigger nations "is what Eden Park should be geared for, the bigger events and therefore the bigger playing nations", he said.

In 2014-15 New Zealand will co-host the World Cup with Australia, with Sri Lanka due to visit beforehand. Auckland Cricket is also eyeing a test against Australia when they make a three-test tour early in 2016.

White said discussions are under way to lock in venues for international matches three to five years in advance.

"That is so people can plan with certainty in terms of investment in facilities," White said.

The West Indies are due in New Zealand for three tests, five ODIs and a T20 in the earlier part of next summer with India to follow, having sought a change to the schedule, which was originally to include three tests.

- NZ Herald

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf04 at 20 Dec 2014 02:10:15 Processing Time: 513ms