Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Christchurch’s Hagley Oval, which will host the opening match of the 2015 World Cup, has received accreditation from the International Cricket Council (ICC).
According to a New Zealand Cricket (NZC) release, ICC officials assessed the ground’s on and off-field facilities and concluded that they were of a “good standard”.
The Hagley Oval was built after Lancaster Park was seriously damaged by the devastating earthquake in 2011.
Prior to the World Cup, the Hagley Oval will play host to a Boxing Day match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka.
“From the earliest days of tournament planning, knowing what sport means to Cantabrians and the challenges the city has faced, we had a vison of Hagley Oval playing a key role in the World Cup,” Therese Walsh, the World Cup head for New Zealand, said. “The oval and pavilion are truly world class, and it will be a very special occasion when Hagley Oval is beamed around the world for the opening match on 14 February.”
Speaking about the new ground, NZC chief executive David White said: “The Hagley Oval offers rare flexibility. It can operate in boutique mode when smaller attendances are expected, or can expand to cater for a crowd of about 20,000 when required. We’re delighted to have another quality international venue approved by the ICC.”
Canterbury Cricket chief executive Lee Germon added: “We call it a ground for all generations. The Hagley Oval balances nicely the heritage of the precinct, and all the modern, high-tech innovation that is needed for an international cricket venue. Receiving the official stamp of approval is an important milestone for a ground designed to serve the region for the next hundred years.”