Two travelling armies of passionate cricket fans are set to invade Hamilton next summer.
New Zealand Cricket (NZC) today announced its 2019-2020 international match schedule, including games at Hamilton’s Seddon Park featuring England and India – global cricket giants followed by some of the sport’s most ardent fans.
England’s Barmy Army supporters group will converge on Seddon Park in November for the visitors’ second Test against New Zealand’s Blackcaps.
And in January, India’s Bharat Army will arrive to support their heroes in two matches – a T20 fixture and a One Day International.
Sean Murray, Hamilton City Council’s General Manager for Venues, Tourism and Major Events, says the Barmy Army will bring a truly unique energy and colour to the venue.
“They’re known for chants, songs and banter with players and other fans unmatched in world cricket. The commitment they show to their team is really special, and their arrival in the city will be hard to miss.”
Seddon Park’s previous hosting of India in cricket internationals has seen a sea of blue swamp the ground.
“The Indian team draws a massive crowd regardless of where the match is – and many of those fans consider themselves part of the Bharat Army.”
Mr Murray says the arrival of the two teams will be a boost for local businesses – particularly with England, and its fans, in the city for up to 10 days for the Test.
The allocation of a five-day Test to Seddon Park emphasises the high quality of the venue’s pitch, nominated as one of the best in the world by influential cricket website espncricinfo.com
NZC CEO David White says: “Seddon Park has hosted some outstanding international cricket over the past decade and NZC was delighted to see its turf culture performance recognised recently in the international media. It’s great fans in the region will again get to see such strong content.”
The day-night fixtures next summer will be played under Seddon Park’s new floodlights – a project Hamilton City Council is part-way through.
The full list of international matches announced for Seddon Park for the 2019-2020 summer is:
- Blackcaps vs England Test – 29 November to 3 December.
- Blackcaps vs India T20 International – 29 January.
- White Ferns vs South Africa One Day International – 30 January.
- Blackcaps vs India One Day International – 5 February.
- White Ferns vs South Africa T20 International – 6 February.