History of the Hagley Oval

Hagley Oval’s destiny as the historical and spiritual home of cricket in Canterbury was determined in the first days of a new and flourishing Christchurch.

Historical Hagley Oval

“Cricket in Canterbury had a natural birth. The settlement in 1850 was a planned reproductions of a piece of England in a strange land 12,000 miles away. It was a church-based design, but the bat went with the bible, for if there was to be another England, there most certainly had to be cricket.”

– R.T. Brittenden, Great Days in New Zealand Cricket, A.H. & A.W. Reed, Wellington, 1958, pp. 33-38.

Just six months after the arrival of the first four ships, the settlers to this far flung land had formed their very own cricket club. Only months later, as part of Founders’ Day celebrations on 16 December 1851, an enthusiastic game ensured the verdant roots of cricket, and those of the city’s settlers, were well and truly laid.

Historical Hagley Oval Historical Hagley OvalHistorical Cricket Players

Hagley Oval has since been identified and documented as the cornerstone of Canterbury and New Zealand cricketing activity. During the early decades the Oval hosted a series of inter-provincial matches, as well as the occasional international fixture. It continues to host all grades of cricket, including women’s internationals and under age, and the ICC 2015 Cricket World Cup itself is set to feature matches at Hagley Oval.

The careers of a whole succession of cricket’s local heroes, including Sir Richard Hadlee have played at Hagley Oval. It will undoubtedly launch the careers of our aspiring cricket heroes of tomorrow.

The ground pays tribute to the cricket history in Canterbury and also provides an exciting opportunity for the future of Canterbury and New Zealand Cricket.

 

Cricket and rugby shared Lancaster Park from post World War I until well into the 1990’s. By that stage the extended rugby season was encroaching onto cricket’s traditional international window in February and March.

As early as 1998 Canterbury Cricket recognised the need for a purpose built cricket ground for international and provincial cricket. A return to Hagley Oval was investigated and in 2006/7 the Canterbury Cricket Association determined to prioritise it as its preferred venue. The Canterbury Cricket Trust was established and the Hagley Pavilion designs were developed by early 2011.

The Return To Hagley Oval

Cricket and rugby shared Lancaster Park from post World War I until well into the 1990’s. By that stage the extended rugby season was encroaching onto cricket’s traditional international window in February and March.

As early as 1998 Canterbury Cricket recognised the need for a purpose built cricket ground for international and provincial cricket. A return to Hagley Oval was investigated and in 2006/7 the Canterbury Cricket Association determined to prioritise it as its preferred venue. The Canterbury Cricket Trust was established and the Hagley Pavilion designs were developed by early 2011.

The Canterbury Cricket Trust

The Canterbury Cricket Trust is a registered charitable trust formed specifically for the long-term benefit of cricket in Canterbury. The Trust is an entity closely linked to the Canterbury Cricket Association but operating independently from it. The members of the Board of Trustees are all prominent business people who share a love of cricket and the ability to drive and realise a vision for the future of cricket in Canterbury.

The first major project for the Trust was to raise funds to establish an international-standard quality pavilion at Hagley Oval. The success of this project has provided a permanent home for Canterbury Cricket and enabled Christchurch to once again play host to prestigious international matches.

The Trust administers the Hagley Oval Members Club where Members enjoy unlimited access to domestic and international matches from the comfort of the Members Lounge and Hadlee Pavilion.

A future initiative is to raise funding to purchase lights for the Oval to enable day-night games to once again be hosted in Christchurch.

2011 Christchurch Earthquake

On Saturday 4 September 2010, the Canterbury region was rocked by a magnitude 7.1 earthquake. The earthquake was based near Darfield, about 40 kms west of Christchurch. Many buildings were damaged, one person died and few people were injured.

A second earthquake occurred in Christchurch on 22 February 2011 at 12:51 p.m. and registered 6.3 on the Richter scale. The earthquake struck the Canterbury Region and was centred 2km west of the port town of Lyttelton, and 10km south-east of the centre of Christchurch. The earthquake caused widespread damage across Christchurch, killing 185 people and injuring several thousand in the nation’s second deadliest natural disaster.

AMI Stadium at Lancaster Park closed indefinitely because of the severe damage sustained during the earthquake.

13 August 2013 the application for resource consent by Canterbury Cricket Association was granted after 17 days of hearings and a total of 289 submissions lodged in response to the application; of these 113 were in support, 172 opposed and four were neutral.

Hagley Oval Pavilion was officially opened on Monday 15 September 2013 at a ceremony attended by over 150 guests including Prime Minister John Key and Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel. The building was officially named the Hadlee Pavilion on 23 December 2014.

The Pavilion was the first anchor project to be delivered in Christchurch and facilitated the return of international cricket to the region and enabled ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 to be held in Christchurch.

The Future of the Hagley Oval

The Hagley Oval development plan includes, amongst other projects, fundraising for lighting which would enable day-night games to once again be hosted in Christchurch. Resource consent has been obtained for the lights.