Queenstown in bid for Cricket World Cup games

A large crowd enjoys the entertainment at a one day international between New Zealand and Pakistan in Queenstown. Photo by Jane Dawber.
A large crowd enjoys the entertainment at a one day international between New Zealand and Pakistan in Queenstown. Photo by Jane Dawber.

Queenstown's bid to host 2015 Cricket World Cup matches will have to be debated around the council table next week before going any further.

Queenstown Lakes District Council chief executive Adam Feeley first motioned the bid in September and this week said an impromptu meeting was likely to be called next week to discuss and settle on the document.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) will wait for potential hosts, to lodge their bids by December 18Mr Feeley and the council's new events director, Simon Green, will take the document outlining associated costs of the cup, benefits, ICC mandatory requirements of a host town and his recommendation to the council.

His hopes are for Queenstown to host up to three games.

"I think that's realistic."

The logistics of New Zealand hosting the CWC along with Australia is that several games were likely to be hosted at one venue rather than switching teams from venue to venue.

"It is more cost effective to have a minimum of a few games in one place rather than hopping from Queenstown, to Dunedin to Christchurch."

Acting on the behalf of the ICC, Cricket World Cup 2015 company's NZ representative Therese Walsh agreed hosts were likely to gain more than one match, but would not rule out the possibility of a ''one-off'' match at a venue like Queenstown.

The CWC 2015 selection panel had looked into the hosting abilities of Queenstown and all other applicants and found a high level of capable hosts, she said.

Although Queenstown's smaller population would not hinder its chances of hosting, it would be a factor taken in to consideration, she said.

The requirements from the ICC filled a 300-page book but the one thing a host town would have to bring to the table was marketing, she said.

"We are looking for the city to bring the tournament to life."

It was undecided how many matches New Zealand would host, as the tournament would be shared with Australia, but Ms Walsh said there would be no more than 10 host cities nationwide and no fewer than five.

"The absolute number we host is dictated by the bids we get.

"We certainly want to see cricket in the South Island."

Although Mr Feeley was not chief executive during last year's Rugby World Cup, he has seen QLDC figures on spending for the tournament and said these would be comparable to what it was looking at spending again for CWC 2015.

However, the hosting of games rather than training sessions, like that of RWC 2011, meant viewers, visitors and benefits would be bigger for the CRW 2015, he said.

''The costs looks relatively modest to get the venue up to compliance of ICC standards."

The ICC evaluates on three criteria: the playing venue, the town's infrastructure and whether the host town would add value to the game in terms of fans.

Mr Feeley was confident Queenstown ticked all three boxes, but admitted the ICC had not indicated whether Queenstown would fit the bill.

''The Cricket World Cup panel don't tip their hand."

Once submissions were handed to the ICC, potential hosts will wait until January or February next year, he said.

Asked whether QLDC's hunger for CWC matches meant there might be a return of the international cricket matches on New Year's Eve, rather than the domestic level of the past two years, Mr Feeley said he would like to see that happen.

''It remains to be seen, but we would like to get some practice runs in beforehand."