|Not a member? Sign up now!|
Work has begun on the construction of 10 off-field practice pitches at the Allied Nationwide Finance Basin Reserve that are expected to be completed in time for next year's Australian test match.
Wellington City Council is funding the $450,000 project, which will ensure the Basin Reserve complies with a NZ Cricket requirement that first class venues have outdoor practice nets that are off the actual playing area. This means they can be used while a match is in progress. Teams playing at the Basin Reserve currently have to practice on the playing arena area, which means they can't practice during a game.
Excavation work on the pitches is expected to take four weeks and will be followed by the construction of a steel structure to house the practice wickets and the establishment of the grass wickets.
The Council's Sport and Recreation Portfolio Leader and Basin Reserve trustee, Councillor John Morrison, says the pitches are being built in the southwest corner of the ground alongside the Museum Stand and behind the Cricket Wellington offices. "They are expected to be finished in mid-January, which means they will be ready for the Australian test in March."
Cr Morrison says the practice facility will mean that the ground continues to meet the International Cricket Council's expectations and reflects the very high facility standards required to host test cricket. "It's a very important project in terms of maintaining the Basin Reserve's international reputation as a leading test cricket ground."