Lights, camera, action at Hagley Oval

Hagley Oval is now the only cricket ground in the South Island with “broadcast quality” lighting.

Approval was granted last year after Associate Greater Christchurch Regeneration Minister, Poto Williams, approved district plan changes to allow six lights using earthquake recovery laws.

The last of the 49m-high lights were installed yesterday morning.

“We’ve finally got our lights at Hagley”, said Canterbury Cricket chairman Lee Robinson.

“In the last week or so they have installed six lights of international standard around Hagley Oval so we can now broadcast and televise games of all international standards and turn them on during the night.”

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He said previously, there was inadequate lighting for games to be broadcast overseas at prime-time in countries like India.

“We weren’t allocated major international games,” said Robinson,

“[India’s] broadcasters, quite naturally, require their games to be broadcast in their premium watching hours which is four-to-five hours behind us.”

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It had been a battle to get to this point, with stiff opposition from those wanting to “preserve the character” of the park.

Robinson said before Covid-19 there was a race to get the lights installed ahead of the Women’s Cricket World Cup in 2021.

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Resource consents for four lights that were retractable were granted by the Environment Court in 2013, but Robinson said since then broadcasting standards “had improved” and six permanent lights were needed.

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He said the original four were not going to “cut the mustard”.

Robinson said he was grateful for the Government’s support.

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