It's been the scene of some of greatest cricketing triumphs – but one of the voice's of Australian cricket has called for Eden Park to be scrapped as an international cricket venue.
Not content with his team's explosive run chase which broke the hearts of Black Caps fans during Friday's T20 Tri-series clash, Jim Maxwell called on the International Cricket Council to "ban" the suburban Auckland ground as an international venue.
The venue has been witness to some of our greatest cricketing triumphs; the 2015 World Cup semifinal win over South Africa, our first test victory over the West Indies in the 1955-56 season, an eight-wicket win over Australia in 1986 and Brendon McCullum's double-century which helped inspire the Black Caps to victory over India in 2014.
But Maxwell – who has been behind the mic since 1973 – has called for those good times to end.
"Eden Park is so small they should bat with a stump instead of a willow to create a better contest," he posted on social media on Friday night.
"ICC should ban play and force NZ to play on a regulation size ground."
According to the ICC regulations, for a ground to now be accredited as an international venue, the straight boundary end-to-end has to have a recommended 55 metres from each set of stumps.
Depending on the pitch layout at Eden Park, the straight-on boundaries vary between 45-55m.
But Eden Park is exempt from the 55m rule as it gained international status before the guideline was introduced.
Black Caps fans thought the Kane Williamson-captained team had Friday's win in the bag after their mammoth innings of 243-6. But the Aussies took advantage of Eden Park's tiny boundaries, hitting the winning runs with seven balls to spare.
Ex-international cricketers on both side's of the Tasman last night hit-back at Maxwell's call.
Former Australian star Greg 'Mo' Matthews – regularly targeted by NZ fans while playing here in the 1980s – said he had fond memories of Eden Park, regardless of persistent hostility shown to him.
"My humble opinion is, go and ask someone in the crowd if they want their money back," he said.
"If it's a T-20 match the crowd enjoys sixes being hit; it makes it seem like a pretty good game. I don't think you'll see too many people in the crowd wanting their money back."
Matthews said while Maxwell had "seen a lot of test matches" in his 40 years of commentating, he said he was no expert on match venues.
"If you want a real expert opinion ask [fellow Australian sporting commentator] Tim Lane."
And former New Zealand international John Morrison hit back at Maxwell, saying his sledge was "an unnecessary chip".
"Everyone knows it's a little bit short, so why state the obvious? It's so typical of the Aussies... They've been firing at other cricketing nations - like the Indians and the Poms - and congratulating themselves."
The shorter long boundary meant that spectators were closer to the action, Morrison said.
He added if he could say anything to Maxwell directly it would be: "just enjoy it and get on".
"I know you've got to say something for a living, but it was a good game - you were lucky enough to win - and it was highly entertaining. I've seen heaps of games in Australia that are a total bore.
"Be a little bit gracious. Talk about the game, not the inadequacies of the game. It's ludicrous to suggest there won't be any cricket at Eden Park because the long boundaries are not quite long enough for Jim Maxwell's pleasure."
Eden Park Trust chief executive Nick Sautner last night also hit back, saying the venue's "intimate setting and fan friendly boundaries make for one of the best cricket atmospheres in the world".
"There wouldn't be a player or spectator who attended Friday's T20 fixture that left the Eden Park disappointed by the atmosphere, with 488 runs scored and 13 new world records set," he said.
"Eden Park's design guarantees an unmatched live cricket experience for fans at the ground or for those watching at home."
Sautner said Eden Park was "proud" of the venue's record-breaking T20 pitch and the venue was looking forward to again putting on a first-class pitch and atmosphere for Wednesday's Tri-series final.
"The best way to respond to Jim Maxwell's comments is to ask Mitch Grimstone, who bagged an impressive one-handed catch and $50,000, along with his mates and the other 33,000 attendees, what they think of the size of the boundaries?! "
Last year, South African allrounder Chris Morris said he was shocked to see Eden Park's short boundaries.
"It's my first time in New Zealand and it was a bit of a shock to my system when I got here yesterday to see the straight boundaries," he said.
"Every stadium has its own dynamics that we have to get used to so we will put the training in today to try and hit certain areas. It does change it a little bit but you have to adapt to every field that you play on."
Things Aussie can work on:
• Political shambles: Forget Eden Park's boundaries and come up with a solution to the crumbling relationship between PM Malcolm Turnbull and his deputy Barnaby Joyce.
• Identity theft: Be proud of what is actually Australian, and stop flogging some of our best. For the record, Phar Lap, the Pav, Russell Crowe and the brains behind Crowded House all hailed from NZ
• Wildlife: For the so-called 'lucky country', Australia didn't strike it too lucky on the wildlife front. Snakes, sharks, stinging ants and crocs all call Aussie home. And we haven't even mentioned flies yet.
• Sporting colours: Green and gold - come on guys! You're not gonna win too many fashion competitions with that outfit.
• Sport gone bad: NRL season is just around the corner, a cue for another round of headlines highlighting a raft of league players caught up in various scandals.
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