Hagley Oval

Hagley Oval

The ground in 2007
Ground information
Location Christchurch, Canterbury
Coordinates 43°32′02″S 172°37′08″E / 43.534°S 172.619°E / -43.534; 172.619Coordinates: 43°32′02″S 172°37′08″E / 43.534°S 172.619°E / -43.534; 172.619
Establishment 1851
Capacity 18,000
End names
Port Hills end
Botanic Gardens end
International information
First Test 26–29 December 2014:
 New Zealand v  Sri Lanka
Last Test 17–21 November 2016:
 New Zealand v  Pakistan
First ODI 23 January 2014:
 Canada v  Scotland
Last ODI 28 December 2015:
 New Zealand v  Sri Lanka
Team information
Canterbury (1886–present)
As of 17 November 2016
Source: CricketArchive

Hagley Oval is a cricket ground located in Hagley Park in the central city of Christchurch, New Zealand. The first recorded match on the ground was in 1867, when Canterbury cricket team hosted Otago cricket team. Canterbury used the ground infrequently from then through until the 1920s, but hardly stopped during World War I.

The first match in the Plunket Shield was played there in December 1907, when Canterbury played Auckland.[1] Canterbury returned there in 1979, and played a number of their 1993/94 Shell Cup home matches at the ground.

The first One Day International at the ground was played between Scotland and Canada during the 2014 Cricket World Cup Qualifier on 23 January 2014. The ground has also hosted three Women's Test matches and six Women's ODIs.

In 2013 the controversial Canterbury Cricket proposal to develop Hagley Oval as an international cricket venue was approved by the Environment Court.[2] During the process of building and renovation of the Oval, it suffered two major floodings in 2013.

In 2014 Hagley Oval became the eighth Test venue in New Zealand. The Boxing Day match against Sri Lanka marked New Zealand's first Test in Christchurch since the city was hit by a major earthquake in 2011, but nearly 10 years since Lancaster Park held what became the final match in Christchurch in 2006.[3][4] Brendon McCullum scored his fastest test hundred in New Zealand's history. He also scored his 1000th test run in the 2014 calendar year, but missed out on his 4th test double century in that calendar year.

Hagley Oval hosted NZ's opening ceremony and match for the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup, while their final match as host of the World Cup was between England and Scotland on 23 February 2015, which was a day after the 4th anniversary of 2011 Christchurch Earthquake.

When the Oval has no matches scheduled, it can still be used as a community park, with youth level, mixed-gender cricket being played on Saturdays. The tent-like pavilion was named after the Hadlee Family when the old Hadlee stand of Lancaster Park being demolished first after the Park become unusable. The pitch is oval but widthways not lengthways, with 11 wickets in the block of which 10 are approved for Tests with full boundaries. This makes it the largest cricket ground in New Zealand. There are no drop-in pitches required. It emulates certain aspects of Lord's and a large and fast outfield of Adelaide Oval, so it slopes down evenly outside the boundaries.[5]


"Cricket in Canterbury had a natural birth. The settlement in 1850 was a planned reproductions of a piece of England in a strange land 12,000 miles away. It was a church-based design, but the bat went with the bible, for if there was to be another England, there most certainly had to be cricket."[6]

Application for Hagley Oval 1885
Application for the Cricket Pitch at Hagley Park, Christchurch, 1855

Hagley Oval’s destiny as the historical and spiritual home of cricket in Canterbury was determined in the first days of a new and flourishing Christchurch. Just four months after the arrival of the first four ships, the settlers to Canterbury had formed their very own cricket club. Only months later, as part of Founders’ Day celebrations on 16 December 1851, an enthusiastic game ensured the verdant roots of cricket, and those of the city’s settlers were well and truly laid.

Hagley Oval has since been identified and documented as the cornerstone of Canterbury and New Zealand cricketing activity. During the early decades the Oval hosted a series of inter-provincial matches, as well as the occasional international fixtures. It continues to host all grades of cricket, and was one of the host grounds for the ICC 2015 Cricket World Cup.

The Hagley Oval Foundation was established by the Canterbury Cricket Trust and the Canterbury Cricket Association to raise the funds necessary to fully develop Hagley Oval into an international-standard cricket venue.

The ground pays tribute to the cricket history in Canterbury and also provides an exciting opportunity for the future of Canterbury and New Zealand Cricket.

Acceptance of Lease of land Hagley Oval, Christchurch - 1856
Acceptance of Lease of land for Cricket Pitch at Hagley Park, Christchurch - 1856

The Return To Hagley Oval

Cricket and rugby shared Lancaster Park from post World War I until well into the 1990's. By that stage the extended rugby season was encroaching onto cricket’s traditional international window in February and March.

As early as 1998 Canterbury Cricket recognised the need for a purpose built cricket ground for international and provincial cricket. A return to Hagley Oval was investigated and in 2006/7 the Canterbury Cricket Association determined to prioritise it as its preferred venue. The Canterbury Cricket Trust was established and the Hagley Pavilion designs were developed by early 2011.

The Canterbury Cricket Trust

The Canterbury Cricket Trust is a registered charitable trust formed specifically for the long-term benefit of cricket in Canterbury. The Trust is an entity closely linked to the Canterbury Cricket Association but operating independently from it. The members of the Board of Trustees are all prominent business people who share a love of cricket and the ability to drive and realise a vision for the future of cricket in Canterbury.

The first major project for the Trust was to raise funds through the Hagley Oval Foundation to establish an international-standard quality ground at Hagley Oval. The success of this project has provided a permanent home for Canterbury Cricket and enabled Christchurch to once again play host to prestigious international matches.

The Trust administers the Hagley Oval Members Club where Members enjoy unlimited access to domestic and international matches from the comfort of the Members Lounge and Hadlee Pavilion.

The next initiative is to raise funding to purchase lights for the Oval to enable day-night games to once again be hosted in Christchurch.

Canterbury v England
1st Match, Canterbury v England, Hagley Park - February 1864


The vision is for a sympathetic development that will enhance the beauty of the current Hagley Oval, complementing the existing facility and elevating it to a high quality, international-standard venue. It will celebrate Canterbury’s cricketing past and herald its future.

2011 Christchurch earthquake

On Saturday 4 September 2010, the Canterbury region was rocked by a magnitude 7.1 earthquake. The earthquake was based near Darfield, about 40 kilometres (25 mi) west of Christchurch. Many buildings were damaged, one person died and few people were injured.

A second earthquake occurred in Christchurch on 22 February 2011 at 12:51 p.m. and registered 6.3 on the Richter scale. The earthquake struck the Canterbury Region and was centred 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) west of the port town of Lyttelton, and 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) south-east of the centre of Christchurch. The earthquake caused widespread damage across Christchurch, killing 185 people and injuring several thousand in the nation's second deadliest natural disaster.

AMI Stadium at Lancaster Park closed indefinitely because of the severe damage sustained during the earthquake.

13 August 2013 the application for resource consent by Canterbury Cricket Association was granted after 17 days of hearings and a total of 289 submissions lodged in response to the application; of these 113 were in support, 172 opposed and four were neutral.

Hagley Oval Pavilion was officially opened on Monday 15 September 2013 at a ceremony attended by over 150 guests including prime minister John Key and Christchurch mayor Lianne Dalziel. The building was officially named the Hadlee Pavilion on 23 December 2014.

The pavilion was the first anchor project to be delivered in Christchurch and facilitated the return of international cricket to the region.

Resume Play

A new era for cricket in post-earthquake Christchurch

The file Resume Play tells the story of cricket in the Garden City, how it was affected by the quakes, and the controversial development of Hagley Oval into a world-class ground that hosted the opening match of the Cricket World Cup.[7]

Produced by Canterbury Cricket with support from the Sport New Zealand, it features interviews from club cricketers, city leaders, "backyard cricketer" Prime Minister John Key and many of New Zealand's leading players, including Sir Richard Hadlee, Stephen Fleming and Tom Latham.

Ground specifications

Capacity– Approx. 8,000

Playing dimensions–149m x 149m

Aerial view of Hagley Oval, North is the Botanic Gardens end, East is the historic Umpires' Pavilion side, South is the Port Hills end and West is the Christ's College cricket ground end.


The Hagley Oval celebrates Canterbury’s cricketing past and heralds its future. The ground is set against the stunning natural backdrop of the well-established trees and fields of Hagley Park and the heritage Umpires Pavilion which is a focal point of the ground (East end). The Christchurch Botanic Gardens at the North end of the Oval were founded in 1863 when an English oak was planted to commemorate the marriage of Prince Albert and Princess Alexandra of Denmark. The Gardens sprawl over an area of 21 hectares, lie adjacent to the loop of the Avon River and have a collection of exotic and local plants of New Zealand.

The simplistic, traditional design of Hagley Oval reflects its historic cricket roots which date back to 1866. The oval comes with a host of exciting viewing options from which to enjoy top quality cricket.

The pitch is bordered with a rolling grass embankment which blends with ease into the picturesque greenery of the surrounding park. The grass embankment is an average 2.2m high and approximately 28m wide at the base. This gives a magnificent, unrestricted 360 degree view for spectators.

There is also a covered pavilion (Hadlee Pavilion) from which members can sit, while there is plenty of space for premium hospitality marquees on the grass. Additional seating can expand the capacity to 20,000 spectators for international matches.

The Hagley Oval wicket block receives excellent reports and for a ‘new’ wicket block has performed exceptionally well with pace and bounce.

The inverted V profile wicket block consists of 11 wickets at approximately 28m long x 34m wide. Six of these wickets are made of Waikari Clay and five are made from Kakanui clay. The clay is covered with ryegrass.

The outfield has been constructed in an inverted saucer profile. It is top dressed with sand and the drainage system consists of slit drains and lateral drains. This ensures water can move quickly away from the ground surface. The outfield is fully irrigated and covered in ryegrass.

The Hadlee Pavilion

The Pavilion provides an outstanding community facility which is available for community groups all year round. The Pavilion is available for other sport codes providing much needed toilet and changing facilities. The building was designed by Trevor Watt from leading New Zealand architects, Athfield Architects and built by Southbase Construction in less than ten months under adverse conditions. The building has been the recipient of many national building, design and engineering awards.

Canterbury Cricket Umpires’ Association Pavilion

In 1864 this pavilion was erected on the first Canterbury Cricket Club's grounds, called Dilloway's, in order to be ready in time for the visit of an English eleven, captained by George Parr. In the match against Canterbury the English team won convincingly but were impressed by the facilities provided at the grounds at the north-western corner of South Hagley Park (by the junction of Deans and Riccarton Avenues). The well prepared field was neatly fenced and the handsome pavilion, the envy of other local clubs still using tents on match days, provided fine accommodation. Of timber construction the pavilion was built to a traditional English design and provided changing facilities, a communal area for meetings and teas, an open verandah and a viewing balcony.

Two years later the pavilion was moved to its present site on Hagley Oval where it was the home of various clubs, the last in the 1980s being Marist. By this date it had served over 120 years and there was concern as to whether it could be retained It had been altered and upgraded several times and had been declared unsafe by the City Council in 1954. The local umpires' association took over the building in 1988 with the intention of restoring it. Under the guidance of the New Zealand Historic Places Trust the building has been fully upgraded, its original appearance returned and it continues to serve a useful function for cricket in Canterbury.

Certainly the oldest cricket pavilion in New Zealand, the building may even be the oldest such structure surviving in Australasia. (Local cricketers are prepared to claim it as the oldest in the Southern Hemisphere until this can be proved incorrect!)

In December 2003 the building was registered by Heritage New Zealand as a Category 2 Building.

The Future

The next stage in the Hagley Oval development plan is to raise funds for lighting which would enable day-night games to once again be hosted in Christchurch. Resource consent has been obtained for the lights and a fundraising programme will commence later in 2016.

Tests hosted

Team (A) Team (B) Winner Margin Year
 New Zealand  Sri Lanka  New Zealand By 8 wickets 2014
 New Zealand  Australia  Australia By 7 wickets 2016
 New Zealand  Pakistan  New Zealand By 8 wickets 2016
 New Zealand  Bangladesh 2017

ODIs hosted

Team (A) Team (B) Winner Margin Year
 Canada  Scotland  Scotland By 170 runs 2014
 Kenya  Scotland  Scotland By 3 wickets 2014
 New Zealand  Sri Lanka  New Zealand By 3 wickets 2015
 New Zealand  Sri Lanka  New Zealand By 98 runs 2015
 Pakistan  West Indies  West Indies By 150 runs 2015
 England  Scotland  England By 119 runs 2015
 New Zealand  Sri Lanka  New Zealand By 7 wickets 2015
 New Zealand  Sri Lanka  New Zealand By 10 wickets 2015
 New Zealand  South Africa 2017

See also


  1. R.T. Brittenden, Great Days in New Zealand Cricket, A.H. & A.W. Reed, Wellington, 1958, pp. 33-38.
  2. Court decision
  3. cricket returns to Christchurch
  4. "Hadlee's pride at Christchurch rebuild". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
  6. Brittenden, Richard Trevor (1977). 100 Years of Cricket; a history of the Canterbury Cricket Association 1877- 1977. Christchurch: Papanui Press.
  7. "RESUME PLAY - A new era for cricket in post-earthquake Christchurch". Vimeo. Retrieved 2016-03-02.
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