The new system will have nine full training pitches using indoor living turf technology © Getty Images
The new system will have nine full training pitches using indoor living turf technology © Getty Images

A new marquee cover-and-climate control system at the High-Performance Centre in Lincoln will allow New Zealand cricketers to train on grass pitches throughout the year. The new facility was inaugurated by the Minister for Sport and Recreation, the Hon. Grant Robertson, with officials from Sport New Zealand, High Performance Sport New Zealand and Lincoln University in attendance.

The new system will have nine full training pitches using indoor living turf technology. The best part about it is that each of them will be able to manipulate to mimic the condition of every venue in the world. It covers a span of 50m x 158 m, and will be 5.2m in height. The new all-weather facility will act as a winter training base for players involved in NZC district and talent development programmes.

The system was built at a cost of $300,000, of which $150,000 was contributed by Sport New Zealand. It will serve as a pilot for a possible roll-out to major associations throughout the country. The minister said the new amenity was a good example of New Zealand innovation: “It’s just fantastic to have a facility like this available for players in the middle of winter. Having grown up in Dunedin, I know the value and understand the importance of all-weather, year-round training capability.”

“NZC is relatively small by international cricket standards and this can present challenges in the field of professional, high-performance sport,” said David White, NZC chief executive. “What we have found, however, is that being small does not prevent us from being competitive. It forces us to be nimble and agile; to make the most of what we have, and to be lean and mean in terms of our operation. I think this new facility is a good example of that.”