Bold bid to stage World Cup opener
Christchurch is about to make a bold bid to host the opening game of the Cricket World Cup.
The tournament, to be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, does not start until 2015.
However, major centres like Christchurch have until early November to submit their bid documents to host games.
Sources told The Press yesterday that there was a groundswell of support for the idea for sentimental reasons.
Christchurch missed out on hosting any Rugby World Cup games last year because of earthquake damage.
It is not yet known how many games New Zealand will be allocated and it is almost certain that Australia will host the opening game and the finals.
However, Hagley Oval could see the first ball bowled in the tournament in this country.
Canterbury Cricket and the Christchurch City Council are working together on their proposal.
The bid document is due with the tournament organisers in the first half of November.
The redevelopment of the Hagley Oval wicket block is on track to be ready by late summer, when it will host 12 days of domestic cricket.
The controversial work has been done to improve the block at Hagley, which will host two first-class games and four domestic-one day games this season.
Hagley Oval was used for a domestic Twenty20 game last season and a T20 match between South Africa and Canterbury but has not hosted first-class cricket since December 2004.
First-class cricket will return to Christchurch for the first time since the February 2011 quake when the Canterbury Wizards host the Northern Knights from February 7 to 10.