Formerly New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands and MP for the Northland Electorate of New Zealand.
JOHN CARTER - MAYOR OF THE FAR NORTH DISTRICT OF NEW ZEALAND
Moving forward together
Thursday 23 October 2014
Cricket show should be a big hit
Please mark November 8 in your calendars if you love cricket. That is the date the International Cricket Council plans to bring the Cricket World Cup Trophy to Kaitaia as part of a nationwide tour to highlight New Zealand's joint hosting responsibilities for the 2015 world cup tournament. This is great news for the Far North, not just because it creates a point of interest for local cricket enthusiasts in the run-up to the world's fourth largest team sport event, but also because it acknowledges that we are in fact part of New Zealand. Too often the Far North gets overlooked in lists of potential venues, thanks to its relative isolation and the distances which need to be travelled. In this case, Kaitaia is getting a world-class event, which could easily have passed it by, thanks to the efforts of the Far North Cricket Association and the Far North District Council which will host the road show at Te Ahu. I urge people to repay the International Cricket Council's vote of confidence in the Far North by getting down to Te Ahu on 8 November or catching the roadshow in Whangarei the day before if that location is easier.
For many people, the road show represents a once in a lifetime opportunity to see the cricket world's most sought-after silverware up close. However, the road show is also a great opportunity to learn about the history of the Cricket World Cup, as well as the 2015 tournament. The quality of the road show, which includes high tech, interactive displays, is top notch so cricket lovers have a treat in store. The outdoor activities which allow people to test their bowling and batting skills should also be a big hit with cricket fanatics. The value of hosting the road show in the Far North cannot be overstated, given the declining significance of cricket in the district in recent years. The few remaining clubs across the district are struggling to attract players and some schools are even struggling to maintain teams other than for inter-school fixtures. This is a real shame given that our schools are nurseries for the sport and Northland historically has been the breeding ground for many players who have gone on to national selection and international fame. In a professional sporting era, these are potential career opportunities our talented young players can ill afford to lose. The more exposure the sport has the more likely a vibrant cricket climate can be developed which encourages player participation and growth of the sport. Bring on the road show. It promises to be a big hit.