First-class one-day cricket is returning to Eden Park Outer Oval this month and Aucklanders are being encouraged to enjoy a family day out in the sun - starting this weekend.

There are four home games in January for the Auckland Aces at the Eden Park Number 2 ground, where there will be activities for kids and a chance to interact with players on the boundary rope.

And all you need is a gold coin to get in.

The Ford Trophy one-day matches start at 11am and on Sunday the Aces are up against the Northern Knights.


All-rounder Donovan Grobbelaar - who played a key role in the Aces winning the Georgie Pie Super Smash Twenty20 competition in December - said he is looking forward to getting stuck into the Ford Trophy and getting the ball rolling as quick as possible.

"I think it's a good format to play," he said. "I prefer white-ball cricket - it suits my game a little bit better."

Grobbelaar said it is always fun seeing people down at the Outer Oval and interacting with kids on the sideline.

"I think that's why the players play the game - to entertain people ... so it would be good to see, once we get back into Auckland, people turn up and just come and support and have some family fun.

"I really enjoy having people around the ground and the chat and banter that goes on on the rope. It's pretty good, too, even Aucklanders give you some stick."

In February, the Aces will play two home games, both Plunket Shield four-day matches starting at 10.30am.

One will be at Colin Maiden Park in St Johns from February 13-16 and the other at Eden Park Outer Oval from February 20-23.

Meanwhile, the Auckland women's team, the Auckland Hearts, will host the Canterbury Magicians across Waitangi Day weekend in their second home round of the season.

The two sides will play a Twenty20 match and two one-day games at Melville Park in Epsom.

Coming up

Auckland Aces' home games in January and February

Sunday January 3:

Auckland Aces v. Northern Knights (Ford Trophy). Outer Oval, 11am.

Wednesday January 6: Auckland Aces v. Wellington Firebirds (Ford Trophy). Outer Oval, 11am.

Saturday January 9: Auckland Aces v. Canterbury Kings (Ford Trophy). Outer Oval, 11am.

Wednesday January 20: Auckland Aces v. Central Stags (Ford Trophy). Outer Oval, 11am.

February 13-16: Auckland Aces v. Wellington Firebirds (Plunket Shield). Colin Maiden Park, 10.30am.

February 20-23: Auckland Aces v. Otago Volts (Plunket Shield). Outer Oval, 10.30am.