Cricket

Eden Park to host touring England

Auckland's Eden Park will host Test cricket for the first time since 2006 when the world's top-ranked team England tour New Zealand early next year.

 
Eden Park to host England - CricketAFP
 

The park was revamped for the 2011 rugby World Cup and was left off the Test schedule while undergoing the redevelopment, though it did host limited overs internationals.

Since then, Test matches have been hosted at smaller boutique grounds like Napier's McLean Park, Hamilton's Seddon Park or University Oval in Dunedin.

Organisers were mindful of the large contingent of travelling England fans in choosing the venue, which has a capacity of about 46,000 and last hosted the West Indies in 2006.

"We felt the England tour presented a good opportunity to allocate a match to our largest city," NZC chief executive David White said.

"An inbound England tour brings in a large number of supporters who create a wonderful atmosphere and we are sure the people of Auckland will turn out in force to see two quality teams in what promises to be a fantastic occasion."

New Zealand's second largest city of Christchurch would not host any matches after an earthquake in 2011 badly affected the main cricket and rugby venue at Lancaster Park, though England would play a four-day match against a New Zealand XI in Queenstown before the first Test in Dunedin.

"We felt it was important to schedule an international match in the South Island and a Test match at University Oval was the logical choice," White added.

"It was 1966 when the England team last played a Test match in Dunedin so I'm sure the locals will get behind the event."

SCHEDULE:

Tue 29 Jan       - England arrive in Auckland

Mon 4 Feb       - New Zealand XI England, Cobham Oval, Whangarei (T20 warm-up)

Wed 6 Feb      - New Zealand XI England, Cobham Oval, Whangarei (T20 warm-up)

Sat 9 Feb        - First Twenty20 International at Eden Park, Auckland

Tue 12 Feb      - Second Twenty20 International at Seddon Park, Hamilton

Fri 15 Feb        - Third Twenty20 International at Westpac Stadium, Wellington

Sun 17 Feb     - First ODI at Seddon Park, Hamilton

Wed 20 Feb    - Second ODI at McLean Park, Napier

Sat 23 Feb      - Third ODI at Eden Park, Auckland

Wed 27 Feb-Sat 2 Mar - NZ XI v England, Queenstown Events Centre (four-day warm-up)

Wed 6-Sun 10 Mar      - First Test at University Oval, Dunedin

Thurs 14-Mon 18 Mar - Second Test at Hawkins Basin Reserve, Wellington

Fri 22-Tue 26 Mar      - Third Test at Eden Park, Auckland

 - Reuters
 
 
 
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