Queenstown eyes big Cricket World Cup games

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A Queenstown Cricket World Cup hosting bid is being prepared – potentially pushing for multiple games and marquee teams. 

A local steering group is putting together a draft bid that may request heavyweights England or India, as it looks to ensure the Wakatipu derives spinoffs from the 2015 tournament. Australia and New Zealand are joint hosts. 

The draft bid details – released to Mountain Scene after an Official Information Request to Queens­town Lakes District Council – are still to be confirmed and require sign-off from councillors. 

However, council chief executive Adam Feeley (above) – co-ordinating the bid with new council events boss Simon Green – says it’s likely to propose a minimum of one game and possibly two or three. 

Feeley, pointing out any bid first requires council approval before going to the International Cricket Council, adds: “It is not contemplated the district would simply be a team-hosting venue nor only having qualifying games. 

“It is contemplated that given the popularity of Queenstown – in terms of both the quality of the cricketing venue and general appeal to players and fans – the bid may seek to host major cricket teams, e.g. India or England.” 

Feeley says high-level preliminary discussions to date suggest the resort is heavily favoured for what it can offer as a spectacle for cricket and the benefits to the country as a tourist destination. 

“If a bid is submitted, it’ll be based on seeking the best-quality games that can best benefit the district and the country.” 

Any bid for the event must ensure venues are technically compliant with ICC World Cup requirements and have the necessary infrastructure to support teams and visitors. 

Feeley says the steering group is confident Queenstown can meet the technical requirements, having previously hosted One Day Internationals. 

“We can also offer amongst the best quantity and quality of accommodation and related infrastructure in NZ to host teams and fans.” 

Asked about the thorny matters under consideration, Feeley says council will have to consider the cost involved against the benefits. 

A full breakdown of costs such as Events Centre staff and a giant video screen is still to come. 

“There is obvious opportunity to promote Queenstown Lakes District as a world-class destination to a very large audience through televised matches.” 

Feeley says it’s anticipated any costs associated with any bid could be met from savings elsewhere in council’s budget. 

Council must approve any bid prior to the ICC’s December 17 deadline.