Auckland were forced to take plan B tonight to get to New Plymouth for their crunch last-round Ford Trophy domestic cricket match tomorrow against Central Districts, with a playoff spot on the line.

The squad flew south yesterday but their plane had to turn back to Auckland, due to bad weather.

There were no seats available on the last flight to New Plymouth so the squad set off in two vehicles to make the date at Pukekura Park.

Auckland sit fourth on the table going into the round, and defending champions CD fifth, four points back. Auckland welcome back New Zealand internationals Colin de Grandhomme, Colin Munro and Lockie Ferguson.


CD have the competition's most in-form batsman in opener George Worker.

He's in cracking form, leading the run chart with 490 at 98 and coming off 181 off 143 balls in helping CD to 401 for eight and a 227-run win over Northern Districts also at Pukekura Park at the weekend.

"He keeps reminding the Black Caps selectors what he offers, which is good," CD coach Heinrich Malan said.

"That's all he can do, keep putting numbers on the board."

CD need a big win to jump ahead of Auckland, who know all they need is a win to make the playoffs.

The weather forecast is poor for tomorrow.

Leaders Wellington play second-placed Canterbury in Christchurch, while bottom side Otago host ND in Dunedin. The playoffs start next Saturday, with the final to be staged on February 18.

New Zealand Cricket are awaiting the completion of an independent report into the state of McLean Park in Napier, scene of the farcical washed out second ODI against Australia last week. There have been calls to move New Zealand's ODI against South Africa on March 1 to a different venue.

The game was called off due to a sodden outfield, but not before the full house were kept waiting in the hope of a reduced-overs match.

There was widespread condemnation of the way the situation was handled by ground officials, including a lack of communication to spectators who waited for hours.

It was the third abandonment at McLean Park since 2013, two of them down to inefficient drainage at the Hawke's Bay venue. However NZC are sitting tight until the report into the ground is finished.

"We expect that process to conclude within a week," an NZC spokesman said.

"Until that review is completed and we have all relevant information at hand, it would be unwise to speculate on an outcome."