Cricket world champions Australia clash with the New Zealand Blackcaps in a Waitangi Weekend day-night One Day International (ODI) which could be the deciding match of the season's three-match Chappell-Hadlee Series.
In announcing its 2016-2017 international season fixtures today, New Zealand Cricket has allocated four matches to Seddon Park, including Test matches against Pakistan and South Africa, and ODIs against South Africa and Australia.
Australia is the top-ranked team in international ODI cricket, New Zealand is second, and South Africa is third. Only 12 points separate the teams on official International Cricket Council team rankings table. In Test cricket, the visiting Pakistan team is currently ranked third.
Sean Murray, Executive Director of H3 – Hamilton City Council's event facilities group – says the allocation of high-profile matches demonstrates Seddon Park is one of the "go-to" venues for international cricket in New Zealand.
"We made some important investments in the venue for ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, and those are continuing to pay off," Mr Murray says.
"We've known for a while we have one of the best boutique international cricket grounds in the world, and securing these top-flight matches emphasises that."
Mr Murray says the Waitangi Weekend fixture should also draw fans from across the North Island who can make a weekend of it in Hamilton.
Northern Districts Cricket Association Chief Executive Peter Roach has welcomed the announcement of matches, saying they reflect the calibre of the venue and present exciting matches to the region's cricket fans.
“This is a terrific schedule of international cricket for Seddon Park," Mr Roach says.
"Hamilton will again see all of the best teams travelling to New Zealand, and across a range of formats. Hosting two Test matches next year is a wonderful endorsement of the quality of the playing surface now being presented by the Seddon Park team. And we can’t wait to put the ‘venue sold out' sign up again on the Waitangi Day weekend when the Australians roll in to town.”
The Chappell-Hadlee clash at the venue in February this year was a pulsating and tense fixture in which New Zealand triumphed and claimed the series 2-1.
Looking further ahead, to the 2017-2018 season, Seddon Park will be the venue for four international fixtures, against the West Indies, Pakistan, Australia and England – with the latter set to be followed by their ardent and colourful tour supporters, the Barmy Army.
INTERNATIONAL CRICKET AT SEDDON PARK
- 2nd Test vs Pakistan – Friday 25 to Tuesday 29 November, 2016
- 3rd Chappell-Hadlee Series ODI (day-night fixture) vs Australia – Sunday 5 February, 2017
- 1st ODI (day-night fixture) vs South Africa – Sunday 19 February, 2017
- 3rd Test vs South Africa – Saturday 25 to Wednesday 29 March, 2017
2017-18 season (Exact match dates to be confirmed)
- 3rd Test vs West Indies - December
- 2nd T20 (night) vs Pakistan – January
- 1st ODI (D/N) vs Australia – February
- 1st ODI (D/N) vs England – February