Much of Wellington’s Basin Reserve may currently look like a construction site, but the city won’t miss out on any top flight cricket over the summer season.
The Wellington Firebirds have been playing practice matches on the oval over the past two weeks in preparation for their Plunket Shield opener against the Auckland Aces on 10 October.
The new Players’ Pavilion is under construction, but will be ready in time for the first test against Sri Lanka on 15 December.
The Black Caps will play another test, against Bangladesh, at the ground in March.
“The new Players’ Pavilion will mean top-class facilities for the top cricketers from around the country and the world,” says Mayor Justin Lester. “Wellington City Council is determined the Basin will remain the home of test cricket in New Zealand, and be one of the best-appointed grounds in the world. The eyes of millions are on the city when matches come to the capital.”
Design work is being carried out for the seismic strengthening of the Museum Stand, which was closed for safety reasons in 2012.
The 1925 stand is being strengthened and refurbished at a cost of around $7.7 million and it is expected to be ready by February 2020, in time for a test against India. When completed, the stand will house the Cricket Museum and Cricket Wellington offices.
The terrace seating in front of the stand is being upgraded and will also be ready for the Sri Lanka test. While the seating work is being carried out, the western side of the ground remains closed.
“Eight Wellington men’s and women’s matches will be played at the Basin before the pavilion is ready for the Sri Lanka test, but portable dugouts and marques will be used to shelter the players,” says Councillor Fleur Fitzsimons, who holds the recreation and community facilities portfolios. “After that the ground will be ready for international cricket and further community use. It will continue to be used for children’s sport at the weekend.”
“The Council has allocated more than $20m over 10 years for upgrading the Basin with a number of goals,” Cr Fitzsimons adds.
- Upgrade the Groundsman’s Cottage
- Upgrade the RA Vance Stand
- Refurbish the scoreboards
- Relocate the Brierley Pavilion
- Refurbish the terrace seating
- Refurbish and strengthen the Museum Stand
- Improve public amenities including toilets, seating and entranceways
- Develop a children’s play area at the southwestern corner of the ground.