Molyneux Park assigned extra Plunket Shield game

The Country Cricket season gets under way on Saturday, October 3. Photo: File
An extra Plunket Shield game has been confirmed for Alexandra.

Molyneux Park will host two of Otago’s four-day games this summer, as was predicted as a possible consolation for losing its Super Smash rights.

The Volts will play Northern Districts at the ground from November 7-10, as well as Auckland from March 12-15.

It will be a small consolation for the town, which typically attracted crowds of about 1500 to its twenty20 games over the holiday period.

The Super Smash draw is yet to be confirmed.

However, it has been suggested the two Alexandra games will be taken to Queenstown due to its pre-existing broadcast towers for Spark Sport to utilise.

The Volts will play the remainder of their home Plunket Shield and Ford Trophy matches at the University Oval in Dunedin — a result of Invercargill’s Queen’s Park having its warrant of fitness put on hold.

Dunedin hosts Central Districts for Otago’s home opener, a Plunket Shield match beginning on October 31.

That follows a season opener the week before against Wellington at the Basin Reserve.

Those first two rounds will be played without Auckland, in an attempt to allow its players to get game-ready given the prolonged lockdown in the region.

That start could be delayed further if Alert Level 3 was extended in the region, New Zealand Cricket general manager of operations Catherine Campbell said.

At this stage, Auckland will start the Ford Trophy with the other five teams.

Otago begins its campaign in that competition on December 1 against Wellington, also at the Basin Reserve.

Its first home game is scheduled for December 14 against Canterbury.

The opening four rounds of the one-day competition will be played as weekday matches, around the Super Smash, which will predominantly be played on Friday, Saturday and Sunday dates.

In the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield, the Otago Sparks begin their campaign in Nelson against the Central Hinds on October 30 and 31. It will be the first of five one-day double-headers that make up the season.

They host Northern at the University Oval on November 13-13 and the Wellington Blaze at Oamaru’s Centennial Park on February 5-6.

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