University’s two-year wait to play at home almost over

University of Otago Oval. Photo: Christine O'Connor
University of Otago Oval. Photo: Christine O'Connor
Most teams get to play at home every other week.

University has had to wait a couple of years. But that wait ends on Saturday.

The Bookworms will host Alhambra-Union at the University of Otago Oval.

It will be the team’s first game at the its home venue since 2019.

The club made way last season to allow for drainage improvements to be made before the ICC Women’s World Cup Cricket which was to be staged in New Zealand this summer. The tournament was delayed a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

While club chairman Paul Hessian said the club was happy to step aside, it was looking forward to returning to the venue.

"We are looking forward to getting back on the oval and I have to say the boys have done a great job of getting the ground ready," he said.

The University Oval is a multi-use facility and there have been issues in the past.

Work carried out on the pitch block at the end of the cricket season has put the venue out of commission for the early rounds.

And the block has had the tendency to become very muddy, which presented a safety issue as well.

That has created tension between the codes but Hessian the ground staff had made changes to the way they manage the facility. Rather than resowing the grass they have left it and patched it where needed.

"That seems to have done the trick in terms of getting a good coverage of grass."

The club will not being doing anything special to mark its return but is expecting a good turnout.

The premier side is rebuilding this year and has produced some tidy performances. Its 47-38 win against Harbour in round two was arguably the highlight.

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