Rain gods frowning on Central Districts side

TONY BIRD
Last updated 05:00 08/01/2014

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Central Districts Cricket chief executive Hugh Henderson could be excused for thinking he must have run over a black cat on the way to New Plymouth in the past week.

Rain forced officials to abandon the Central Stags v Otago Volts Twenty20 match at Pukekura Park without a ball being bowled yesterday. The game was the final of four Twenty20 matches scheduled for the groundover the last eight days.

The other three matches were also disrupted by rain. Two were played with reduced overs and another managed to go full distance despite a morning downpour.

To make matters worse, the Stags lost all three matches.

They picked up just two competition points for yesterday's rained off game.

"We've certainly done something to annoy somebody," Henderson said as he watched rain tumble down late yesterday afternoon following a fine and sunny morning and early afternoon.

"It's pretty rare to have all four games in New Plymouth at this time of the year interrupted by rain," Henderson said.

"Obviously the team hasn't been playing as well as we would have liked and when you can't get on the park like today that adds to it," he said.

Henderson said the disruptions had a significant impacton gate takings, a big earner at this time of year for the association.

Central Districts had budgeted for about $100,000 in gate revenue for the entire home season, most of which comes from the HRV Cup.

"We had very few people through the gate this week and we had to do refunds the other day so we'll be substantially down on the face of this," he said.

The Central Stags will be back in New Plymouth in March to play two rounds of the Ford Trophy one-day 50 overs competition.

The Stags head to Dunedin this morning to play the Otago Volts on Sunday before finishing their Twenty20 campaign with a match against the Auckland Aces in Auckland next week.

Meanwhile, one has to feel sorry for the Pukekura Park ground staff. Headed by Craig Hitchcock and Bill Read the team worked tirelessly to get the three games under way.

"If there was a knighthood going for taking the covers on and off then we'd get one hands down," Hitchcock joked yesterday.

When the weather clears, the ground staff will continue their preparations for Pukekura Park to host the first of the World Cup one-day qualifying tournament matches next Monday between Kenya and Papua New Guinea.

New Plymouth's other games are scheduled for January 16 and 19.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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