Quake-Damaged New Zealand Cricket Ground Gets Upgrade, Could Host World Cup
Christchurch, New Zealand's chances of hosting World Cup cricket matches "moved a step closer" when a proposal to upgrade a section of a public park into an int'l-standard venue "were given the all clear" by a local court, according to Greg Stutchbury of REUTERS. The city's previous multi-sports venue, Lancaster Park, "was wrecked" by the Feb. 22, 2011 earthquake that "devastated the city and killed just under 200 people and local cricket authorities submitted plans for the development of a venue on Hagley Park, which borders the central city." The court, however, "placed several conditions on the use of the ground, including restrictions on the number of match days and removal of part of the lighting towers at the end of the cricket season." Canterbury Cricket "would also need to be granted a lease by the local council, although the World Cup fixtures would not be included as part of the match day restrictions." Canterbury Cricket CEO Lee Germon said in a statement, "This decision is positive not only for hosting Cricket World Cup but also for the sport of cricket and our city in future years" (REUTERS, 8/14).