Queenstown in ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup discussion

Speculation is rife that the Queenstown Lakes District Council are putting in a bid to host ICC Under-19 Cricket World ...
NZPA/ROSS SETFORD

Speculation is rife that the Queenstown Lakes District Council are putting in a bid to host ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup matches next year hopefully drawing a crowd to the Events Centre like this one in 2005.

A secret meeting has been held to discuss a potential role for Queenstown in ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup matches.

At a Queenstown Lakes District Council Community and Services meeting on Thursday, the public was excluded while the committee held the meeting discussing the 2018 event.

Prior to that, Queenstown Cricket Club chairman Clark Pirie addressed members during the public forum saying the club "supports any steps by council" in getting matches to the resort.

Otago Cricket chief executive Mike Coggan.
Richard Worrall

Otago Cricket chief executive Mike Coggan.

However, he was concerned the facilities at the Queenstown Events Centre and in the resort in general may not be adequate.

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"We can accommodate that [matches and teams] as a club [but] there is a very real need for more facilities in this town."

Pirie outlined the huge growth in cricket in Queenstown with registered players numbering about 300, up from about 180 three years ago.

It was "well in excess" of the national growth rate, he said.

Queenstown Junior Cricket's Russell Mawhinney who organised the annual Queenstown Schools' Cricket Carnival, also addressed the committee.

The carnival would run at the same time as the World Cup but might have to be postponed if matches fell on the same days, he said.

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Mawhinney was "very supportive of the event" but was concerned that if they didn't hold the carnival next year, it could jeopardise it in the future.

Otago Cricket chief executive Mike Coggan said it was reasonable to think the council was discussing the possibility of matches but the Under-19 Cricket World Cup committee had instructed officials not to say anything to ensure a fair bidding process.

"You can assume that there's discussion around the bid process in terms of one of the four pools that will be played around the country."

Coggan said you would not see "this sort of discussion" unless the council was planning a bid.

The event will be held in New Zealand between January 12 and February 4 featuring 16 teams made up of about 250 players.

The playing surface at Sir John Davies Oval at the Queenstown Events Centre had recently been upgraded and the council contributed $640,000 towards it.

The last time Queenstown hosted an international match was in 2014.

A decision on where matches would be held was expected by the end of the month.

 - Stuff

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