Cricket please Qtown?
A secret meeting has been held to discuss a potential role for Queenstown in ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup matches.
At a Queenstown Lakes District Council meeting last week, the public was excluded while the committee held the meeting discussing the 2018 event.
Prior to that, Queenstown Cricket Club chairman Clark Pirie addressed members saying the club ‘‘supports any steps by council’’ in getting matches to the resort.
However, he was concerned the facilities in Queenstown may not be adequate.
Clark outlined the huge growth in Queenstown cricket with registered players numbering about 300, up from about 180 three years ago.
It was ‘‘well in excess’’ of the national growth rate, he said.
Russell Mawhinney, who organises the annual Queenstown Schools’ Cricket Carnival, also addressed the committee.
The carnival would run at the same time as the World Cup but might have to be postponed if matches fell on the same days, he said.
Mawhinney was ’’very supportive of the event’’ but was concerned that if they didn’t hold the carnival next year, it could jeopardise it in the future.
Otago Cricket chief executive Mike Coggan said it was reasonable to think the council was discussing the possibility of matches but the Under-19 Cricket World Cup committee had instructed officials not to say anything to ensure a fair bidding process.
‘‘You can assume that there’s discussion around the bid process.’’
Coggan said you would not see ‘‘this sort of discussion’’ unless the council was planning a bid.
The event will be held in New Zealand between January 12 and April 4.
A decision on where matches would be held was expected by the end of the month.