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Happy New Year at McLean Park

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The wait is nearly over for Hawke’s Bay’s patient sports public as the glitz and glamour of BLACKCAPS and WHITE FERNS international cricket finally returns to Napier - both of New Zealand’s flagship teams ready to take centre stage against India in One-Day Internationals at McLean Park this month.

The first teams to get to run out on the stadium’s exciting new drop-in pitch and renovated outfield will meanwhile be the Central Stags and Otago Volts who meet in the first of three Burger King Super Smash evening T20s in the space of three weeks at the Latham Street showcase - starting exactly one week from today.

All three of the Stags’ Napier T20s - Thursday 10th January against one-day Ford Trophy finalists the Volts, Saturday 19th against the impressive Canterbury Kings, and Friday 25th January against arch rivals the Knights - will be under lights from 7.10pm. All games will be beamed out live on SKY Sport with the weather coming to the party, balmy summer evenings in store with a 29 degree scorcher predicted for next Thursday in the Bay.

While the matches will be live on TV, there’s nothing like being there for the real buzz. Burger King Super Smash is action-packed fun with BLACKCAPS like new Test sensation Ajaz Patel and T20 swing maestro Seth Rance set to turn out on Thursday - and an all-round evening’s entertainment packed with freebies, venue-only giveaways, prizes to win, Burger Bucks, family activities for the little ones, fab food and bevvies and of course ever-present mascot The Stag all part of the package.

Burger King Super Smash Grand Finalists for two years straight, the Stags have already beaten defending champions the Knights once this season, and are looking for three on the bounce at their Napier home. "We unfortunately dropped both our Pukekura Park games which wasn’t part of the plan," says captain Tom Bruce. "It was a slower deck over there so we’re looking forward to getting on the new drop-in and with the hot, dry weather in Napier at this time of summer it should be much more of a belter with an opportunity for some high-scoring games."

The Stags are meanwhile off to Dunedin this weekend looking to take their season ledger to 2-2 on what’s a tightly contested points table early doors.

"There’s a long way to go yet in this competition, so as long as we pick ourselves up quickly and execute our game plan, we will be right up there again this summer," says Bruce who starred in the opening win at Bay Oval with a career-best unbeaten 88- and is looking forward to his rematch with the Knights on the 25th.

With the BLACKCAPS now in white-ball mode against Sri Lanka, the Stags are poised to regain the services of star spinner AJAZ PATEL who will likely be in the squad for Dunedin before returning to his domestic base of Hawke’s Bay for the first time since the astounding start to his Test career.

Roll in powerful newbie Dean Foxcroft, Ben Wheeler, Will Young, big hitter Josh Clarkson, last season’s top wicket-taker Blair Tickner and kaumatua and County cricket veteran Kieran Noema-Barnett and that’s more than half the squad set to enjoy playing in the city in which they either live or represent at District level.

With a big menu of three Burger King Super Smashes and three One-Day Internationals coming up, Central Districts Cricket CEO says he is looking forward to seeing McLean Park buzzing to the spectacle of big hits and top class cricket action again at last.

"I know many people here in Napier have been really hanging out for this and now it’s just seven sleeps to go. My message to everyone who loves a sporting spectacle in Hawke’s Bay is to get along and support these games - let’s show the rest of the country what a great place for cricket this really is."

To celebrate the return of top flight cricket to Napier, CDCA is offering fantastic value McLean Park Memberships on its website that get fans into all six games this summer - three Burger King Super Smash T20s and three One-Day Internationals - for just $119, including member-only treats and discounts.

Regular tickets can be purchased in advance at Ticketek or at the gate from one hour before play, with every ticket bought online winning an instant prize as well as going into a draw for big weekly prizes and a Grand Prize trip to the Burger King Super Smash Grand Final worth $4000.

The Central Stags’ squad to play the Otago Volts in Dunedin will be named tomorrow, Friday 4 January.

BURGER KING SUPER SMASH

McLEAN PARK | NAPIER

All matches 7.10PM

Thursday 10 January 2019 - CENTRAL STAGS v OTAGO VOLTS

Saturday 19 January 2019 - CENTRAL STAGS v CANTERBURY KINGS

Friday 25 January 2019 - CENTRAL STAGS v KNIGHTS

BLACKCAPS v INDIA

McLEAN PARK | NAPIER

3PM Wednesday 23 January 2019 - BLACKCAPS v INDIA ODI

2PM Wednesday 13 February 2019 - BLACKCAPS v BANGLADESH ODI

WHITE FERNS v INDIA

McLEAN PARK | NAPIER

2PM Thursday 24 January 2019 - WHITE FERNS v INDIA ODI

Livescoring, tickets: visit nzc.nz

Twitter updates: @CentralStags

Instagram updates: @CentralHinds

Official hashtags: #BKSuperSmash #LoveTheStags

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