Karori Park will host its first first-class cricket match in March 2012, when the Wellington Firebirds will play Central Districts in round 9 of the Plunket Shield.
Cricket Wellington CEO Gavin Larsen said, “The scheduling of the Plunket Shield match at Karori Park is the culmination of several years of investment and partnership involving the Wellington City Council, the Basin Reserve Trust, Cricket Wellington, and the Karori Cricket Club.
“It’s very pleasing to have a high-quality alternative venue now to the Hawkins Basin Reserve, and we’re sure that the local Karori Cricket Club and wider Karori community will get behind the match.”
The match will be played from the 18th to 21st March, which will mean that it closely precedes the international test match between New Zealand and South Africa at the Hawkins Basin Reserve, starting on 23 March.
“We see it as very exciting for Karori to play such a significant part of what will be a very big week of cricket in Wellington,” said Larsen.
Councillor John Morrison, Portfolio Leader, Sports & Events, for the Wellington City Council said, “We’ve always had a goal of hosting first-class cricket at the ground, so to achieve the warrant of fitness and then receive a match is very pleasing for all involved.”
David Bain of the Karori Cricket Club, said “We all know we have a great facility here in Karori and we’re looking forward to working with Cricket Wellington to help put on a top-quality game.”
“The club is enormously proud to have helped achieve first-class status for the ground, and we’re all looking forward to the opportunity and the challenge of hosting first-class cricket here in Karori.”
Karori Park will be become the sixth venue in Wellington to host men’s first-class cricket. The Hawkins Basin Reserve, the Petone Rec, Hutt Rec, Maidstone Park in Upper Hutt, and Wellington College have previously hosted first-class matches.