McLean Park has lost the scheduled Black Caps v England ODI cricket match in February due to delays in laying the new turf.

Last night Napier City Council and New Zealand Cricket made the call to shift the match on February 28 to Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui.

Napier City Council CEO Wayne Jack said council had not taken the decision to pull the match lightly and had explored all avenues available to get the turf laid in time.

"The project team has been working extremely hard to deliver a revitalised McLean Park to the people of Napier and to the New Zealand sporting community by February, so this delay is hugely disappointing."


Mr Jack said he was frustrated at the outcome, but that there were a number of major barriers to having the turf laid in time, each out of Council's control.

Mr Jack said the turf farm, chosen for its excellent hybrid turf growing ability, was located just south of Auckland and with the region experiencing unprecedented rainfall since May the ground was too wet to progress the laying, sanding and seeding of the turf.

The forecast wasn't stable enough over the next two weeks to get the turf in in time for the required four month cycle.

"And if we proceed with the match on the existing turf, and it's rained out, we run the risk of losing our international hosting status for three years. That's a risk nobody wants to take at this point in time."

Mr Jack said sourcing the 7600 tonnes of sand required for the subsoil drainage layers had also been problematic.

"It's a very specific sand that is required, and none of the quarries we have contacted are able to supply it in the quantity we need for the park until next year."

With the construction industry in full swing there had been little interest from the sector in tendering for the work required in laying the turf in time for the February match and Mr Jack said they needed specialised contractors on the job, and a competitive and robust tender process to secure a reasonable price.

"So far, we've been unable to attract interest in this work - however we predict we'll have a better chance at this after construction's busy summer period."

New Zealand Cricket's chief operating officer Anthony Crummy supported the council's efforts and said they were still fully committed to bring back international cricket to McLean Park.

Mr Jack said it was not the result they wanted, or expected, but were now reviewing all their time-frames and revisiting contractor relationships to ensure the turf was laid very early next year.

All tickets for the Napier ODI are fully refundable via Ticketek.