Delays in the re-turf of Napier’s McLean Park has seen the New Zealand second One Day International (ODI) against England shifted to Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui. McLean Park began work on its surface early in 2017 and initially targeted being ready for the upcoming international summer. Napier City Council Chief Executive Wayne Jack said that a number of factors had changed that timeline.”This is not the outcome we wanted or were expecting we were very much looking forward to the BLACKCAPS meeting England here at McLean Park,”said Jack.

“However, we ve been advised by our sportsground turf specialist up in Auckland that the volatile weather conditions have obstructed the opportunity to get this specialised grass grown and we haven t been able to access the 7,600 tonnes of special grade sand we need to lay the carpet in time. Sadly, despite huge effort on all sides, these are factors outside of our control. We ve explored all avenues and together with New Zealand Cricket, made the very difficult decision that we can t take the risk on what is a really important match in February. We re now revising all our time frames and looking forward to getting this job done, subject to some good grass-growing weather.”

NZC COO Anthony Crummy said that while disappointing, it was important to make the decision as early as possible.”We are still fully committed to bringing back international cricket to McLean Park, but Napier City Council raised some concerns about the ground being ready and together we ve had to make a tough decision,” said Crummy.”It s really disappointing that Napier won t get to host what is one of our marquee games this summer, but it was important that we informed fans swiftly once we were made aware of the risks.”

Chief Executive of Central Districts Pete De Wet said the right decision had been made.”Whilst cricket fans in Hawkes Bay will be as disappointed by this decision as we are, we need to ensure that the issues with the outfield are resolved. This will ensure that McLean Park secures International Cricket into the future, and CD Cricket will benefit from this as well.”

The shifted ODI at Bay Oval will remain on February 28 and be a Day-Night match.