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Former Test cricketers back Auckland’s Eden Park

Former Test cricketers back Auckland’s Eden Park
February 19, 2018

Former Australian and New Zealand cricket players have spoken out about their admiration for Eden Park, praising the Auckland venue for its famous atmosphere.

During Friday's T20 Tri-series clash, veteran commentator Jim Maxwell criticised the venue, calling on the International Cricket Council to "ban" the suburban Auckland ground as an international venue due to the size of its pitch.

The Eden Park boundary measures between 45 metres and 55 metres, depending on the pitch layout, meaning it can slip below ICC regulations of a recommended 55 metres. However, the venue is exempt from the role as it gained international status prior to the rule being introduced.

Greg Matthews, who played for Australia during the 1980s, and former Black Cap star John Morrison both spoke about the stadium shortly after it played host to a thrilling Twenty20 encounter between Australia and New Zealand on Friday.

Australia produced an impressive run chase to beat New Zealand by five wickets, with a run score of 245/5 to the home team’s 243/6 coming with just one over and one bowl remaining.

Although New Zealand fans were left disappointed by the result, the atmosphere inside the stadium throughout the match was praised by Matthews, who played at the venue a number of times during his career.

Matthews told the New Zealand Herald “if it’s a Twenty20 match, the crowd enjoys sixes being hit; it makes it seem like a pretty good game.

“I don’t think you’ll see too many people in the crowd wanting their money back.”

Also responding to Maxwell, Morrison, who played for New Zealand from 1998 to 2013, commented “everyone knows it’s a little bit short, so why state the obvious?

“I know you’ve got to say something for a living, but it was a good game - you (Australia) were lucky enough to win - and it was highly entertaining. I’ve seen heaps of games in Australia that are a total bore.”

Eden Park Trust Chief Executive Nick Sautner also backed the venue, describing it as an “intimate setting and fan friendly boundaries make for one of the best cricket atmospheres in the world”.

Sautner added “there wouldn’t be a player or spectator who attended Friday’s T20 fixture that left the Eden Park disappointed by the atmosphere, with 488 runs scored and 13 new world records set.

“Eden Park’s design guarantees an unmatched live cricket experience for fans at the ground or for those watching at home.”

In a further show of support, New Zealand Herald columnist Matt Heath called for the venue to host more non-sporting events, including music concerts.

Heath wrote that having visited other locations to see gigs by Paul McCartney and, more recently, the Foo Fighters, he said Eden Park is well suited to staging these sorts of events.

Heath commented “I live a hundred metres from Eden Park. It’s a great place to be. But it’s so quiet. It’d be great if we could get some more events in there. Games, gigs, gladiators – whatever.”

Image: Wicket preparation at Eden Park.

12th February 2018 - EDEN PARK ADAPTS ALL BLACKS’ DRESSING ROOM INTO WEDDING CHAPEL

7th December 2017 - ZIPLINE SOARS HIGH ABOVE AUCKLAND’S EDEN PARK

29th September 2017 - EDEN PARK TRUST APPOINTS NEW CHIEF EXECUTIVE

31st August 2017 - EDEN PARK TO HOST NEW ZEALAND’S FIRST DAY/NIGHT CRICKET TEST IN 2018 

25th August 2017 - EDEN PARK SECURES BUSINESS AWARD IN AUSTRALASIAN LEISURE MANAGEMENT COMMUNICATION PROGRAM

18th August 2017 - EDEN PARK LAUNCHES NEW ERA IN VENUE-BASED SPORTING EVENTS

6th June 2017 - EDEN PARK READY TO HOST BRITISH AND IRISH LIONS MATCHES

14th June 2016 - NICK SAUTNER RETURNS TO SPORT MANAGEMENT IN NEW POSITION AT EDEN PARK


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