New Zealand Cricket has apparently raised its hand to the question of becoming a neutral space for Test matches to take place in. Thanks to there being no active cases of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 and lockdown restrictions being a thing of the past, our country offers a safe haven. This means that we could be in the position to stage internationals between countries still wrestling with the pandemic.
Tom Harrison, Chairman of the England & Wales Cricket Board, confirmed in April that New Zealand is one of a handful of countries that have volunteered to explore this possibility. And Heath Mills, Chief Executive Officer of the New Zealand Cricket Players’ Association, has since revealed that discussions between the two bodies are ongoing.
Mills said that New Zealand would work wonderfully as a neutral venue and the chance of it becoming one over the summer is good. Mills added that we would welcome this kind of role, acting in much the same capacity as the UAE has, hosting Pakistan’s Home tests since 2010. He was quick to add that nothing has been confirmed yet, but restated that there is a definite willingness to do whatever’s necessary to help.
This idea might extend to other sports, too, with US Boxing promoter Bob Arum recently hinting at New Zealand as one of potential sites for the proposed WBO Heavyweight Championship rematch between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder. He has been quoted as saying that rumour has it that we’ll have open stadiums and permitted spectators shortly and that’s a big reason to bring that fight here.
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