Back­yard wicket launched

The Tribune (NZ) - - ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT - KIRSTY LAWRENCE

As the first ball bounced down the pitch, Ben McKelvie was able to sit back and en­joy what has taken him so long to build.

McKelvie cre­ated a full-sized laser-lev­elled cricket ground over a rise at the back of his Hi­matangi house, which he has named the Omanuka Oval.

It hosted the first game on Satur­day, Jan­uary 7 - a friendly be­tween his pre­mier-3 Bloom­field Cricket Club and the Manawatu- Foxton Cricket Club.

McKelvie said it was a good day and ev­ery­one seemed to en­joy them­selves.

‘‘It’s good, a nice amount of peo­ple turned up.’’

Spec­ta­tors pitched mar­quees next to the field and the day was filled with a re­laxed en­joy­able vibe.

McKelvie said they were hop­ing to have a 20/20 com­pe­ti­tion near the end of the season.

‘‘Then after that I’ll close it up for the season and next year will try and get some club games on it.’’

The pitch had been laid about a year ago and McKelvie said it had taken about eight months to get it to a point where it could be played on.

‘‘It’s prob­a­bly got an­other year un­til it’s at a state where we could be happy with it.’’

It was one of the only pitches like it in the coun­try with a sim­i­lar one in Hawkes Bay.

‘‘The rest of them are town pitches, so it’s a bit dif­fer­ent.’’

DAVID UN­WIN/FAIR­FAX NZ.

Farmer Ben McKelvie has made a brand new ‘field of dreams’ cricket pitch for the Palmer­ston North Bloom­field Cricket Club.

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