Basin Reserve’s future in doubt

"Nothing would be sadder for Wellington than to see this important historical and cultural symbol become a faded monument of the past"

“Nothing would be sadder for Wellington than to see this important historical and cultural symbol become a faded monument of the past”

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

The renowned Basin Reserve in Wellington may no longer be an international cricket ground due to the New Zealand Transport Agency’s plans to build to traffic flyover.

Even though there are also plans to build a new 12-metre high pavilion to block out a majority of the flyover, small sections of it will still be visible.

Former New Zealand Cricket (NZC) chief executive Martin Snedden noted that the flyover will be a distraction for batsmen and this could ultimately lead to the ground losing its international reputation.

“A fielder at mid-off is not permitted to wave their arms when a bowler is preparing to deliver a ball, despite that fielder being well outside this 40-degree area,” Snedden said. “Cricket balls are very hard. Impact on the human body of a fast-moving cricket ball can cause serious injury and even death. Ewen Chatfield, a former New Zealand Test match player, was nearly killed by being struck in the temple by a ball in a Test match in 1974.”

Snedden’s views were echoed by ex-Wellington captain Don Neely, who said: “Spectators could decide to vote with their feet and choose not to come to games. Ultimately, the Basin relies on attracting spectators for its ongoing existence. The Basin Reserve could lose its raison d’etre if cricket should cease to be played there…nothing would be sadder for Wellington than to see this important historical and cultural symbol become a faded monument of the past.”

Meanwhile, former NZC chairman Sir John Anderson added: “The [flyover], without sufficient mitigation, runs a small but very real risk of the ICC status of New Zealand’s premier Test match ground being taken away.”

 

 

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