Canterbury Cricket strives to overcome the odds

MATT RICHENS
Last updated 05:00 20/06/2013

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Canterbury Cricket remain hopeful Christchurch will be used as a venue for the 2015 World Cup despite calls from tournament organisers that they need assurances.

Cricket World Cup New Zealand boss Therese Walsh this week told The Press tournament organisers want assurances that approval to redevelop Hagley Oval was headed "in the right direction" before any firm commitment to the city could be made.

Venues, dates and fixtures are expected to be announced within weeks, but the resource consent application is currently being held by the Environment Court and it is understood a decision won't be released until August at the earliest.

Canterbury Cricket boss Lee Germon, however is stoic in his hope that Christchurch and a redeveloped Hagley Oval will play some part in the tournament.

"I can't comment too much because it's before the court," Germon said.

"We're just remaining positive and hopeful that the decision goes our way. We think it's the right decision.

"We've known all along that Cricket World Cup requires some certainty. We're hopeful that we'll have a decision within a timeframe that suits."

Germon will talk to the Cricket World Cup organisers tomorrow.

The Environment Court decision is not the only hoop for Canterbury Cricket to jump through.

Should that decision go their way, they would still need to secure funding for the development and get the Christchurch City Council to grant them a lease for the pavilion and floodlights. Both are minor hurdles compared to the Environment Court one.

Germon said Canterbury Cricket were "getting our ducks in a row" so they could do what was needed quickly should the Environment Court decision go their way.

Germon was hopeful Christchurch would be named as a venue, but expected that if it was there would be "a few key milestones" which would need to be met within tight time frames. "We know we won't be able to do a Rugby World Cup and withdraw the venue three or four months before the tournament, that's not an option," he said.

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- The Press

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