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North Harbour Stadium playing well

North Harbour Stadium playing well

Major work on new drains, a turf replacement, intensive management and expert advice is delivering great results for the North Harbour Stadium ground - which is becoming a lucky home ground for the Auckland Aces cricket side.

The cricket season has been challenged by the weather so far, says North Shore City Council's parks operations manager, Mike Weaver. But despite torrential downpours before and during the recent Auckland versus Otago first class cricket match, stadium staff received accolades from the sport's administrators and both teams alike.

Mr Weaver says over 60mm of rain hit the Albany venue in the three days leading up to the start of the four-day match and 50mm fell on the Thursday night, January 9. He says there was another half-hour torrent late on Saturday, January 11, when rain briefly halted play, but the pitch coped well.

Mr Weaver says the ability to get the field in use again quickly is testament to the extensive work that has been undertaken at the stadium over the past season.

Particular emphasis has also been placed on the cricket pitch turf management to ensure the pitch is in the best possible condition for first class play. Ground staff have put in a lot of hard work, with technical assistance from Mike Weaver, a nationally recognised groundsman.

And considering all the rain, the wicket played well, if it was a little on the slow side.

North Shore City's community services and parks committee chairperson, Margaret Miles, says the money and effort put into improving the ground has paid dividends, and the city now has a first class facility.

Councillor Miles says the "belter of a pitch" produced more than 500 runs in this week's (January 22) State Shield game when Auckland downed Wellington in an exciting run-fest.

According to a NZ Herald article, Black Caps captain Stephen Fleming described the pitch at the North Harbour venue as the 'type of pitch the players have been looking for all season'.

Other work at the venue over the past few months has included a new large capacity, shallow drain installed around the perimeter of the main stadium field. This has dealt effectively to the large volumes of water coming off the stands and terraces.

Margaret Miles says the main stadium ground should also be in top order for a possible Warriors game in February and the much-awaited Blues V Crusaders Super 12 game in March.

"This is a top facility, with the very best staff and resources, and we can now be sure of attracting some top acts in sport and entertainment," Margaret Miles says.

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