Trans-Tasman cricket rivalry resumes at Hamilton's Seddon Park this summer, with New Zealand to play Australia in a Chappell-Hadlee Series match on Waitangi Weekend.
New Zealand Cricket announced its 2015-2016 international cricket fixtures yesterday, with the Chappell-Hadlee match on 8 February one of three games to be played at Seddon Park. The other two matches are a pre-Christmas five-day Test match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka starting on 18 December, and a New Zealand vs Pakistan T20 international on 17 January.
Sean Murray, Executive Director of H3, welcomed the announcement as a reflection of the quality of Seddon Park and Hamilton's support for New Zealand's national summer game.
"Seddon Park is identified as one of the cricket world's best boutique cricket grounds, and with its grassy banks and close proximity to the CBD it's one of the city's finest assets," Mr Murray says.
"The Australia match in February will be the first time the two teams have gone head-to-head in Hamilton since 2010. Local fans should be excited by the prospect of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 finalists competing in the city, particularly as the 2007 Australia-New Zealand match on the ground resulted in what was then a world-record run chase by the home team."
Hamilton cricketer Daniel Vettori, who was yesterday made an honorary Hamilton Ambassador, captained New Zealand in the 2010 fixture.
Mr Murray says the Sri Lanka Test match also offers cricket traditionalists a chance to see one of Asia's most exciting teams in the longer form of the game, with the visitors likely to be followed by a passionate legion of fans. Similarly, Pakistan's visit for a T20 fixture should be an enthralling and action-packed affair.
Start times for the Australia ODI and Pakistan T20 matches are still to be confirmed, and the domestic cricket schedule – including matches at Seddon Park involving the Northern Knights - is expected to be released in coming weeks.