Save Hagley group gets support of sorts
The Save Hagley group has received support - of sorts - from the other side of the world in their battle to prevent a $20 million redevelopment of Hagley Oval.
During the commentary of the opening day of the first test between New Zealand and the West Indies in Antigua this morning, New Zealand commentator Simon Doull threw his weight behind Lincoln University as a test cricket venue.
He did not mention the ongoing saga between Save Hagley and Canterbury Cricket this morning, but had his mind made up about where an international venue in Canterbury should be.
Doull, a former test player who played at Hagley Oval just once, with the Northern Districts A side in 1999, rubbished complaints that Lincoln University's two main grounds, the Bert Sutcliffe Oval and Lincoln Green, were too far out of Christchurch to be used.
The Lincoln University grounds are owned by New Zealand Cricket, but are used for underage tournaments, first-class cricket and have hosted both the under-19 and women's world cups.
New Zealand Cricket says Lincoln is not an option.
While talking to former West Indian quick Ian Bishop during the commentary, Doull, a Fairfax Media columnist, opined the "20 minutes travel" from Christchurch to Lincoln should not be a hinderance to developing one of the picturesque grounds.
"There's no cricket facility in Christchurch because of the earthquakes of the last 18-months-two years," he explained.
"And just 20 minutes down the road at Lincoln University we have the Bert Sutcliffe Oval and the Lincoln Green which are two magnificent venues.
"But people think it's too far to travel, 20 minutes, to watch a test match. I think test cricket should be played there. It's a beautiful oval, it's got lovely grass banks; it's a wonderful venue.
Doull said the idea of travelling to support a sports team was one most people in most sports took as a given.
"I think if they're taking test cricket to the South Island of New Zealand, then I think that's [the Bert Sutcliffe Oval] where it should be played.
"But, [people say] 'oh, we can't play there because it's too far out of town'."
- © Fairfax NZ News