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.

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