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[ 1998-99 Chief Executive's Report ]

Carisbrook and Eden Park, both now resplendent with lights and new stands, a new Wellington Stadium and major changes in train at Jade Stadium are exciting developments which hopefully will further enhance our game and finances. The encroachment into the traditional cricket season of Super 12 rugby has brought with it a number of issues for New Zealand Cricket. Pressure to upgrade our facilities has increased and has largely been driven by rugby. There is no doubt that providing we are able to retain a position as valued tenants within the venues, we too will benefit from the major renovations either planned or under way. There is, though, an inherent danger that the wicket blocks will have even less attention given to them in the scramble to ensure that the venues return adequately on the investments. The best off-field facilities in the world are worthless to cricket if the spectacle is compromised by inferior wicket and outfield preparation and management. John Reid, at the behest of the Board, remains intent on continuing the good work to date on ensuring that our wickets reflect the best possible practice and allow for the players to develop their skills in a conducive environment.

The portable wicket remains an important focus for both codes and venues as a tool to assist in the vexed question of coping with dual-purpose grounds and overlapping seasons. Although the trial in a domestic first class game was only marginally successful, we are all of the view that the technology is successful and will be fully operational sooner rather than later. We extend our thanks to The Hillary Commission for their continued support and funding of this project.

Owen Delany Park, Taupo was approved as a new international venue this season and successfully hosted the Indian team in a One Day International.

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