WELLINGTON (Reuters) - New Zealand has changed the venue of its second one-day international against England in February to Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui from Napier’s McLean Park due to a delay in re-turfing the troubled venue.
The match was shifted after poor weather affected the supply of new grass, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) said in a statement on Wednesday.
“This is not the outcome we wanted or were expecting — we were very much looking forward to the Black Caps meeting England here at McLean Park,” Napier City Council Wayne Jack said in the statement.
“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.”
McLean Park, which was dropped from the test roster five years ago, has been plagued with drainage problems despite undergoing repairs ahead of the 2015 World Cup.
In the last home summer, an ODI against Australia was called off without a single ball bowled after the outfield failed to drain enough despite dry conditions that followed morning rain.
New Zealand subsequently moved an ODI against South Africa away from the ground after an investigation found high risk of another drainage failure.
NZC said in February it would spend NZ$900,000 ($659,000) on a complete replacement of the playing surface, drainage and irrigation system in the latest upgrade.
The date for the second ODI will remain as Feb. 28.
($1 = 1.3652 New Zealand dollars)
Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Peter Rutherford