New Zealand's Iconic Cricket Ground Under Threat by Flyover

nikki morganCorrespondent IFebruary 4, 2011

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - JANUARY 19:  General view of the Basin Reserve during day five of the Second Test match between the New Zealand Blackcaps and Pakistan at Basin Reserve on January 19, 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand.  (Photo by Marty Melville/Getty Images)
Marty Melville/Getty Images

Wellington's Basin Reserve is considered by many the spiritual home of Test cricket in New Zealand, according to New Zealand Cricket's Chief Executive, Justin Vaughan.

In 2009 the Basin Reserve became the 11th Test venue ground to host 50 Test matches, which is a great achievement by New Zealand standards.

In 1866 the Basin Reserve formally became Wellington's home of cricket, with the first international Test match being played in 1930 between New Zealand and England.

Despite all this the New Zealand Transport Agency want to build a flyover to minimise the buildup of traffic around the Basin Reserve. This would mean a flyover to carry four lanes of traffic over the Basin Reserve.

The flyover would lift the traffic above the fence line into full view of the Basin Reserve crowds, with traffic noise and pollution being blown across the cricket ground.

Imagine umpires trying to listen to catches which have come off the edges of the bat. Impossible if there is a massive flyover.

Cricket generally is a game where you either love it, or can't stand it. And in New Zealand I would think the second option more often applies because our Black Caps underperform too much. So most people in Wellington who drive have said the flyover is a great idea.

But the flyover is only fixing the traffic congestion around the Basin Reserve. Once that area is fixed there will be another problem somewhere else down the line that they would try to fix. No one is ever happy with what they have.

New Zealand drivers are amongst the worst and most impatient drivers in the world for their population. I can understand why they want the flyover with this statistic. Instead of walking or cycling to walk, they would rather drive and complain about how bad the traffic congestion is.

The Basin Reserve is part of an elite club of cricketing venues holding 50 Test matches and I would like that figure to continue on to three figures.

The New Zealand Transport Agency needs to stop worrying about better traffic plans, and more on getting people walking or cycling to work since obesity is a real concern in New Zealand and leave the Basin Reserve alone.

If you want to keep up to date on the Basin Reserve flyover go to