Following a venue inspection last week, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has withdrawn the venue Warrant of Fitness (WOF) for Molyneux Park in Alexandra until a permanent cricket turf manager is appointed.
As a consequence, the HRV Cup fixture between the Otago Volts and Northern Knights scheduled for the 29 December 2011 has been moved to University Oval in Dunedin.
NZC Grounds and Facilities Manager, Ian McKendry said: “Molyneux Park’s contractor has been trying to fill the vacant position of Turf manager for some time without success and with the scheduled match now less than six weeks away, there is no certainty that the necessary preparation can be completed to the require standard.
“Molyneux Park has a long history of hosting cricket over the holiday period and there is no reason why this shouldn’t continue once a qualified and permanent cricket turf manager is in place.
“The standards now required for the top level of cricket are stringent and without full time supervision we could not be certain the venue could meet those standards”.
New Zealand Cricket is committed to ensuring the appointed turf manager is integrated into the national turf manager’s network and receives the full support and professional development on offer from NZC and Otago Cricket.
Otago Cricket CEO, Ross Dykes, acknowledged that the decision was in line with current standards although expressed disappointment that the traditional Central Otago holiday crowds would again be deprived of cricket.
“The volunteer base in Alexandra is hugely enthusiastic and proactive and they, like us, will be gutted that cricket will be missing from Molyneux Park for the second year in a row,” said Dykes. “Last year’s rain spoiled what promised to be one of our biggest domestic crowds in some time.”
“This decision was not made lightly and I know NZC are still supportive of us looking to preserve the traditional holiday cricket in Alexandra.”
Dykes confirmed that the fixture will now be played at University Oval in Dunedin and have a start time of 5.00pm to cater for those working between Christmas and New Year.
Central Otago fans will not miss out completely with the Otago Volts fourth round match scheduled for Queenstown on New Year’s Eve.
HRV Cup schedule - http://www.blackcaps.co.nz/domestic/hrv-cup-twenty20/110/schedule.aspx