30 Nov 2017

Four 'unsafe' Dunedin cricket pitches closed

8:19 pm on 30 November 2017

Four cricket grounds in Dunedin have been closed for the rest of the year because of sub-standard, dangerous pitches.

Dunedin Council Council (DCC) has shut down seven grass pitches at four ovals across the south of the city because its contractor, Citycare, did not prepare them to a premier match standard.

The pitches are underprepared and dangerous because of uneven bounce according to clubs spoken to by RNZ.

There were problems with the pitches last year too.

Council acting parks and recreation manager Richard Saunders said matches have been moved to other ovals until the New Year and the council-owned contractor Delta brought in to take over pitch maintenance.

"It's not a good result at all. We are really disappointed it has got to this stage," Mr Saunders said.

"We shouldn't have this happening to our grass wickets around the city."

The four affected grounds are Tonga Park, Sunnyvale, Brooklands Park and the Oval.

Taieri Cricket Club is based at Brooklands Park.

"We are gutted we are not going to have any cricket out at our ground during the best weather of the season," club president Andrew Sutton said.

"There hasn't been a lot of cricket at our club for a season and a half now.

"We are feeling quite let down by our contractors," he said.

Dunedin Cricket refused to be interviewed about the pitch problems, but issued a statement:

"On Tuesday a meeting was held with DCC representatives to express the association's concern regarding the quality of some grass pitches," it said.

"These concerns were based on reports from captains and umpires and concerns expressed by some clubs."