New Zealand Cricket Board(NZC) has gone closer to moving all International Cricket from the historic, but right now unsuited, Eden Park in Auckland. The development has taken place after the decision by speedway promoters to leave Western Springs in 2020.
The Western Springs venue, which is regularly used for music concerts and has a wider population to take cricket to, and so, NZC, as well as the Auckland Council, don't want to waste this attractive financial opportunity to make it a permanent site for international cricket in the country's largest city.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff told New Zealand’s TV3 about the issue, where he said, “There’s been a stand-off between Regional Facilities Auckland and Speedway for such a long time and I want to give credit to speedway for saying, 'look, it’s time for us to move to a new home’, It does free up the potential of Western Springs for further development, and of course New Zealand Cricket’s really interested in that ... but that’s a little way down the track yet.”
The Eden Park which has been hosting Test Cricket since 1930, became a rectangular shaped venue since going through rebuilding work ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2015. There have been voices from most corners of the world cricket against the suitability of the ground in hosting cricket, with its short sized square boundaries and hence, a big hindrance to the competitive balance between bat and ball.
The ground has been regularly hosting top-level limited overs cricket and with its capacity of 50,000 has been financially useful for the board on occasions but NZC feels it is time to take cricket to a consistently bigger cricket audience.
(Inputs from Hindustan Times)