Sport & recreation  |  12 Apr 2019

Christchurch’s picturesque Hagley Oval has been named the best pitch for international cricket in New Zealand.

At New Zealand Cricket’s (NZC) annual Cricket Pitch of the Year Awards for 2018-19, the Hagley Oval turf management team again won the International Pitch of the Year Award.

The team – led by Rupert Bool, the Manager of Hagley Park – has picked up the award four times in the past five years.

“It is a great to see Hagley Oval being recognised year after year as a top international pitch for cricket,” Christchurch City Council Head of Parks Andrew Rutledge says.

Hagley Oval has topped the national rankings at the pitch awards.

Hagley Oval has topped the rankings at the Pitch of the Year Awards.

“The turf management team at Hagley Oval has put a huge amount of effort into keeping the pitch in peak condition throughout the summer to deliver a strip that has ensured a great contest between bat and ball.

“By providing that fine balance, both batsman and bowler have had the best opportunity to make the most of the conditions.

“It certainly takes great skill to maintain that balance in an international arena.”

NZC General Manager, Venue, Facilities and Events, Graham Parks says it is important to acknowledge the significant work of turf managers across the country.

“These are the unsung heroes of our game who go about their work with minimal fuss, all while providing essential support to the delivery of cricket across all formats,’’ Mr Parks says.

NZC General Manager, High Performance, Bryan Stronach says cricket surfaces across New Zealand continue to be prepared to a very high standard.

“The pitches we produce are a key element in the development of our players’ skill sets and overall enjoyment of cricket across all levels. We have seen some fantastic surfaces this season,” Mr Stronach says.