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World’s top cricket event coming to Christchurch

Tuesday 30 July 2013

World’s top cricket event coming to Christchurch

World-class cricket is coming to Christchurch, after a successful joint bid by the Christchurch City Council and Canterbury Cricket to host ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 matches.

The match fixture announcement for New Zealand games was made in Wellington earlier today, with Christchurch being allocated the coveted opening match and ceremony plus two other pool matches featuring Full member nations and four additional warm-up matches.

The allocation is welcome news, although the city’s ability to host matches is dependent on what decision is made by the Environment Court about the further redevelopment of Hagley Oval.  This legal process is currently ongoing.

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker is pleased the ICC has demonstrated its confidence and support of Christchurch in allocating these significant games.

“It was a real blow to the city when we could not host games for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.  This new opportunity to play a major part in a global sporting event is a massive boost for Christchurch.  It’s a real indication that Christchurch is back on its feet and will bring great social, tourism and economic benefits to the city.

“The tournament provides an unparalleled opportunity to showcase all that is new and special about our city.  Christchurch will be broadcast around the world and people will see just how far the rebuild has progressed by 2015.”

Canterbury Cricket Chief Executive Lee Germon says the games are fantastic news for all Cantabrians and for cricket enthusiasts in particular. 

“Canterbury has a proud cricketing history and is home to New Zealand’s most famous cricketing family, the Hadlees.  Cricket is the number one summer sport in Canterbury, which is the second largest province in the country in respect of playing numbers – but the highest number of players as a percentage of our population.”

As well as being allocated Cricket World Cup matches, it was announced today Christchurch will host qualifier matches in early 2014.  These qualifier matches will see associate member cricket nations battle it out for the final two positions at the 2015 Cricket World Cup.

These qualifier games can be played regardless of the decision made by the Environment Court, as Hagley Oval has first-class match accreditation from the ICC.  However, the regulations for staging ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 matches are different.

“This is fantastic news because it means Christchurch is assured of playing a part in the tournament, whether that is in the qualifiers or the Cricket World Cup Matches,” says Mayor Parker.

Speaking at the launch event, ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 Limited’s Head of New Zealand Therese Walsh said: "Christchurch deserves this opportunity to play a starring role and so do its people. The city has made New Zealand proud through its courage and resilience, and we want them to share this once in a generation opportunity to see the best players and best teams going head to head in our backyard.”

ENDS

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