Cricket: Holiday spots to host Windies

By David Leggat

Holiday destinations are in for the West Indies tour next summer.

Nelson's Saxton Oval, which won selection as one of New Zealand's World Cup hosting venues, gets a chance to show its stuff by holding one of five ODIs the Windies will play.

Queenstown's Events Centre also gets an ODI, on New Year's Day. Queenstown took a dent when its bid to host World Cup games was rejected by cup organisers. Indeed, Nelson's hard work probably cost Queenstown in the World Cup stakes.

"To bring international cricket to our region has been a goal for many years and achieving this is a moment of real pride for all those involved in developing cricket and the facilities in the region," said Nelson Cricket Association general manager Ed Shuttleworth yesterday.

Napier hosts the second ODI on December 29, with Nelson on January 4. It's no accident three holiday hotspots have been scheduled.

New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White confirmed an intention to build an annual series of games at holiday destinations which have international facilities.

Eden Park has a Boxing Day ODI but no tests. The three five-day internationals have gone to Dunedin, Wellington and Hamilton's Seddon Park, all to be completed by Christmas.

Sorting out the West Indies' itinerary - from December 3 to January 15 - has been a sharp contrast to finalising the shorter Indian tour in late-January into February.

"Discussions with the Board of Cricket Control for India have taken longer than we hoped but we should be able to announce the schedule in the next few weeks," White said.

It is likely to include two tests. One is expected to go to Eden Park.

- NZ Herald

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