Voted one of the most spectator-friendly international cricket venues in the world, Northern Districts’ Seddon Park is fast positioning itself as New Zealand’s capital of Twenty20 cricket.
The new season’s Georgie Pie Super Smash national Twenty20 competition sees the SKYCITY Northern Knights’ beloved Hamilton headquarters once again hosting all three crunch games at the business end of the competition — including the Grand Final — under lights.
Seddon Park also won the honour of opening New Zealand Cricket’s revitalised domestic Twenty20 season, hosting the first nine games over an action-packed eight days.
Tonight Hamilton fans will get to witness the inaugural Island Of Origin “North v South” Twenty20, a festival-style Twenty20 season opener pitting the best South Island-born cricketers against the best from the retro beige-wearing North.
Says Northern Districts Cricket CEO Peter Roach, “With Bruce Edgar and Mike Hesson having picked very exciting line-ups, a nod to retro uniforms, free entry, Friday night and Halloween, the emphasis is on having a fun night. We’re sure it will be a memorable atmosphere and experience for the crowd and a great opening to the Twenty20 season.”
Seddon Park is a happy hunting ground for the Knights as defending domestic Twenty20 champions. They nailed both their sudden-death Preliminary Final and the Grand Final here in January, with home advantage already sorted should they win through to the Finals again. However, Roach feels any grumbles in that regard are off the mark.
“The fact is that it’s an excellent, newly upgraded ground for watching both daylight and twilight cricket. It’s television-friendly. Players enjoy playing here and, in a jam-packed cricket season, it is available,” says Roach.
“There were other venues that simply weren’t available. You still have to earn the right to play in those Finals — and that’s the same for all sides. May the best teams be there once again.”
The new Georgie Pie Super Smash format introduces two key changes. First, it sees the competition window take centre stage across November, culminating in the December 7 Grand Final. In the other significant renovation, it sees multiple teams descending on the same host venue to play each other with a tournament-style intensity — showcasing for fans all the stars from around the country.
“We open with 10 days where Twenty20 cricket is going to be the biggest thing in town — consecutive Friday night games, double-headers on both days of the weekend, with the Knights fired up to get their defence off to the best possible start. We are also excited by having three afternoon matches at Seddon Park, giving families a great opportunity to get along and enjoy the experience” says Roach.
“Fans can also expect a lot more excitement around these matches this year. We encourage people to stay tuned for updates through social media. One thing’s for certain and that’s with all the entertainment planned, you won’t even have to be a cricket tragic to enjoy these games this summer!”
Tickets are just $10 per day for adults, and $5 for kids. Junior Knights Club members can enter for free.
The SKYCITY Northern Knights team for this weekend’s games will be announced at midday today.
SKYCITY Northern Knights v Wellington Firebirds – Saturday 1 November at 3.50pm
SKYCITY Northern Knights v Otago Volts – Sunday 2 November at 3.50pm
SKYCITY Northern Knights v Canterbury Kings – Friday 7 November at 7.00pm
SKYCITY Northern Knights v Central Stags – Sunday 9 November at 3.50pm