Test cricket could be set to return to Christchurch after an eight-year hiatus.
Canterbury Cricket boss Lee Germon has requested a test match and a one-day international during Sri Lanka’s tour next summer and is “hopeful” of a positive result.
With Hagley Oval set to host the opening ceremony and opening game between New Zealand and Sri Lanka – and two other matches – during next year’s Cricket World Cup, Hagley and the surrounding infrastructure could do with a dress rehearsal.
Returning test cricket to Christchurch eight years since Sri Lanka played New Zealand at AMI Stadium would be the perfect opportunity to test the ground without the full demands of a sold-out ODI at the 20,000-capacity venue.
“I’ve discussed it with New Zealand Cricket and I’m hopeful our application will be considered, but there are no guarantees or anything, obviously,” Germon said.
There were two good reasons other than the fact the city had been starved of test cricket for eight years, he said.
“We do need a match of sufficient scale to test the facilities and processes we’ve got in place and from a playing perspective, I would have thought the Black Caps would have wanted to play here before the World Cup’s opening match.”
That will happen anyway as the New Zealanders are set to play a warmup game at Hagley – and another at Lincoln.
With the side already set to play one-day cricket in Christchurch three times next summer, being awarded one of the two Sri Lanka tests could be more likely.
Dunedin has hosted three tests in the last two years which have all been drawn and the Hagley Oval wicket is receiving good reviews on the domestic scene.
– © Fairfax NZ News