Highway threatens Basin Reserve

New Zealand

The New Zealand Transport Agency's plans to build a flyover very close to the Basin Reserve has raised concerns from former New Zealand Cricket chief executive Martin Snedden.

The New Zealand Transport Agency's plans to build a flyover very close to the Basin Reserve has raised concerns from former New Zealand Cricket chief executive Martin Snedden.

A 12-metre high pavilion to block the two-lane highway, which is scheduled to be constructed a mere 20 metres north of the international venue, from view has been proposed – but minor glimpses will probably remain visible.

"A fielder at mid-off is not permitted to wave their arms when a bowler is preparing to deliver a ball, despite that fielder being well outside this 40-degree area," said Snedden.

"Cricket balls are very hard. Impact on the human body of a fast-moving cricket ball can cause serious injury and even death. Ewen Chatfield, a former New Zealand Test match player, was nearly killed by being struck in the temple by a ball in a Test match in 1974."

Erstwhile Wellington captain Don Neely, meanwhile, has suggested the sight of vehicular traffic from the field might spoil the nature – lined with interesting history – of the esteemed Wellington venue.

"Spectators could decide to vote with their feet and choose not to come to games. Ultimately, the Basin relies on attracting spectators for its ongoing existence," he added.

"The Basin Reserve could lose its raison d'etre if cricket should cease to be played there. Nothing would be sadder for Wellington than to see this important historical and cultural symbol become a faded monument to the past."

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