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New Zealand look at new venue for Test cricket in Auckland... as Eden Park becomes too expensive

In a submission to Auckland Council, the country's governing body said the ground's dimensions "continually risked compromising the integrity of cricket matches" and pointed to the hire price of the stadium

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New Zealand may dump Eden Park as a Test venue

Eden Park may soon find itself off the Test-match roster after New Zealand Cricket gave a damning verdict on its cost and appropriateness for such occasions.

In a submission to Auckland Council, the country's governing body said the ground's dimensions "continually risked compromising the integrity of cricket matches" and pointed to the hire price of the stadium.

And chief executive David White also backed plans to build a new, international-standard ground in the city.

"Auckland is currently missing out significantly on international cricket exposure due, primarily, to the lack of a cost-effective, financially-viable venue," White wrote. 

"Eden Park – the only ICC-sanctioned arena in New Zealand's most populous city, is unaffordable for all but the biggest and, by definition, the rarest of international cricket fixtures. 

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The ground's dimensions have often come in for criticism

"Additionally, Eden Park's small size and rectangular, football-shaped playing field continually risks compromising the integrity of cricket matches hosted there. 

"Auckland has hosted just three Test matches since 2006, and the number of one-day internationals and T20 internationals played in the city has been a mere fraction of what it would be, were it to offer a fit-for-purpose, international-standard cricket ground."

Eden Park has played host to Test cricket for 88 years and held a World Cup semi-final in 2015.

However, there are blueprints for the new stadium at Western Springs - a redevelopment of the existing speedway arena - to take over in the near future.

White said the Western Springs ground will be "a full-sized, oval-shaped playing arena; able to cater for both small and large crowds in a relaxed, grass-banked, more cricket-centric surrounding."

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