Resort misses out this season

Mike Coggan
Mike Coggan
Otago remains committed to playing in Queenstown but the John Davies Oval will not host any domestic cricket this season.

New Zealand Cricket released the 2018-19 domestic schedule on Wednesday and the John Davies Oval was absent from the list of venues.

It was also overlooked when the international schedule was released late last month despite a recent $640,000 upgrade.

Queenstown Lakes District Council sport and recreation manager Simon Battrick could not be reached for comment.  Otago Cricket Association chief executive Mike Coggan said the association had hoped to host a one-day game at the venue in November but it clashed with another event.

"We were in discussions ... about a Ford Trophy game there but they have a football festival at the same time," Coggan said.

"Another challenge was their groundsman [Andrew Douglas] was not 100% confident that at that time of the year there would have been enough grass growth.

"But certainly we have been talking to them about playing short-form cricket. The difficulty with long-form cricket in Queenstown is purely cost."

Accommodation and travel expenses make it "almost prohibitive" to host a first-class games in the resort town.

"But we are certainly working with the people there to make it happen."

Otago has not played a first-class game in Queenstown since February 2016. The most recent  one-day international was in 2014, when Black Caps batsman Corey Anderson pummelled a 36-ball century.

The ground fell out of favour because of drainage problems which were resolved by the upgrade. The venue hosted nine ICC Under-19 World Cup games earlier this year.

"We know they did a good job of hosting the Under-19 Cricket World Cup and they’ve spent a good bit of coin on the drainage.

"They have a view that they would like to see future internationals so they need to see domestic support."

Coggan was not sure whether a lack of domestic games at the venue would be a setback in terms of the aspirations to host future internationals.

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