Seddon Park faces stiff competition for test matches
The possible return of test cricket to Auckland may spell the end of a run of matches at Hamilton's Seddon Park.
The city has hosted six tests since 2007 but with Eden Park a possible venue for the tour of New Zealand by England this summer, New Zealand Cricket may opt to bypass Hamilton in favour of Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin.
Northern Districts Cricket Association chief executive David Cooper said they had applied to host one of the three tests against England next year and were waiting for a decision from New Zealand Cricket.
Auckland's Eden Park hasn't hosted a test since March 2006, with the ground undergoing a major overhaul since then ahead of last year's Rugby World Cup.
But with Eden Park again in the mix, along with Wellington's Basin Reserve, Dunedin's University Oval and Napier's McLean Park, Seddon Park may be squeezed out of contention.
However, Cooper was keen to press Hamilton's claims with NZ Cricket.
"Logic would say that Hamilton and Wellington are the best test venues in the country," Cooper said.
"You'd think they would get two out of the three tests but I'm not sure that's what New Zealand Cricket is thinking at this time.
"We're pushing the benefits of playing a test here and our history of successfully hosting tests in recent years."
Seddon Park drew big crowds to the test between the national side and South Africa in March and with the interest surrounding England's visit, and the large travelling support they bring, hosting a test would be a financial boost to the association and the city.
In a recent survey of media and fans in The Cricketer magazine, Seddon Park was rated the 15th best test venue in the world, while Eden Park was voted the fifth-worst.
The Basin Reserve was ranked 10th and University Oval 21st.
Cooper said work required on the venue's changing-rooms to ensure Seddon Park was cleared to host World Cup one-day matches in 2015 wouldn't be a stumbling block in their bid to host a test.
"The long-term plan caters for the changing-rooms in year two, which is 2013/14.
"But there is a contingency plan in place with a short-term funding solution should we get a test, so it's not a barrier to hosting."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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