Batsmen could soon rattle the pickets

Otago Cricket Association marketing, sponsorship and events manager Sarah Rose shows off a...
Otago Cricket Association marketing, sponsorship and events manager Sarah Rose shows off a section of the new picket fence which will soon surround the University of Otago Oval.PHOTO PETER MCINTOSH
What is missing down at the University of Otago Oval is a nice white picket fence.

Well, worry not, one is on its way. Actually, about half of it has been installed already.

The other half is expected to be completed in time for Otago's first home twenty20 fixture on December 23.

The boutique venue has just got even cuter.

But the shiny white pickets are about more than just aesthetics. They will form a required safety barrier between the spectators and the action in the middle, Otago Cricket Association marketing, sponsorship and events manager Sarah Rose says.

"It makes the ground look amazing but there are some [health and safety] requirements as well, particularly around white ball cricket," Rose said.

The project will cost about $40,000. The Otago Community Trust has provided funding assistance.

Otago top order batsman Brad Wilson and the team at the North Dunedin Shed Society have been drafted in to help with the painting work.

There is probably close to 3000 pickets to paint, so it is a laborious job. And to be fair, Wilson's main summer job is to take the paint off the new ball not put it on a fence.

The Otago Cricket Fundraising Charitable Trust is selling plaques which will be attached to a 2.4m section of the fence.

They have sold 75 of the 150 available sections, aiming to raise $30,000. The proceeds will be donated to the Leading Edge Youth Cricket Support Fund.

"They help cricketers who cannot participate in the game due to financial barriers," Rose said.

"There has been a great uptake from local businesses. They are buying a piece of Otago cricket history, really."

 

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