Otago Cricket Association chief executive Ross Dykes is
confident of displaying the ''sold-out'' sign on Sunday.
Ticket sales have been brisk for the HRV Cup final between
the red-hot Otago Volts and either Wellington or Auckland.
The University Oval will have a capacity of about 3400, and
1745 tickets had sold by yesterday.
Dykes said the pitch - it will be the same one used for
Tuesday's game between Otago and Canterbury - would be good,
and he understood the weather forecast was promising.
''Perhaps, if anything, the only worry is we might see our
capacity stretched a bit. But that's a good problem to
The ground's capacity will be boosted to about 5400 for the
test between New Zealand and England in March.
Wags might suggest the Black Caps will need to buy bulk
tickets themselves after their capitulation in South Africa,
but Dykes does not believe their abysmal test performances
will translate to poor sales.
''Sales are up to about 1000 for the test. I thought the
numbers were a bit skimpy but New Zealand Cricket feel they
are quite good for pre-sales.
''We understand there's a lot of interest from English tour
groups yet to be cast in stone, so we're really hopeful our
capacity will be stretched or pushed.
''I know there's been a bit of negativity towards the Black
Caps. But I think there's still a hugely positive feeling
about the University Oval and the ambience it offers.''
Someone feeling positive after his first - and, likely, only
- taste of the Oval was Australian fast bowler Brett Lee.
The speedster made a cameo appearance for Otago on Tuesday
and will now be available should the Volts win on Sunday and
qualify for the Champions League.
''Brett said he felt really warmly supported here. He was
revved up by our crowd, which says a bit,'' Dykes said.
''We're very keen to have him again. Not only can he can bowl
sandshoe crushers at 145kmh but he's also got a wonderful
attitude. No pretensions at all.''