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NZ to launch inquiry into Napier washout

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 2/02/2017 By Greg Stutchbury

New Zealand Cricket and local authorities have agreed to an urgent inquiry to determine why the second one-day international between the hosts and Australia was abandoned without a ball being bowled.

Morning rain delayed the scheduled start time, but the conditions improved enough for the ground staff to prepare McLean Park in Napier for a shortened match.

However, the outfield at McLean Park failed to drain properly, leaving thousands of fans frustrated and the players annoyed.

NZC chief operating officer Anthony Crummy said they had agreed with the ground owners, the Napier City Council, to begin an independent inquiry as soon as possible.

Council chief executive Wayne Jack said he considered the review to be an "urgent" matter and would meet with NZC to start proceedings on Friday.

Napier mayor Bill Dalton, while disappointed with the outcome, said he believed there was no issue with the drainage and stood by experienced groundsman Phil Stoyanoff.

Dalton said several people who had access to the playing area had been surprised the match was abandoned.

"It was only one small area of the park that was deemed not to be dry enough," Dalton said.

"I know people who walked over that particular area and couldn't see what the issue was.

"The general feeling amongst the public is that they couldn't understand why play didn't commence."

Crummy said all general admission ticket holders would receive a full refund.

He said about 6-7000 tickets had been sold but did not discuss how much money NZC would need to pay out, or their insurance arrangements.

The ground is due to host an ODI against South Africa on March 1. Crummy said it was too early to say whether that fixture was in doubt.

"We just have to find out what has happened and what steps need to take place that it doesn't happen again.

"We did have some rain today but not enough to have the game being abandoned."

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