Picture:  REUTERS/Jason Reed
Picture: REUTERS/Jason Reed

The Proteas’ only chance to adjust to New Zealand pitches under match conditions was lost on Tuesday, when their warm-up game in Auckland was washed out.

Rain forced the T20 fixture against a New Zealand XI‚ which was to be played at Eden Park Outer Oval‚ the main ground’s B field‚ to be called off at the scheduled start time.

The weather could also endanger Friday’s T20 international at Eden Park – the forecast is for rain until Saturday.

SA’s team management might need the time off to rejig their travel plans‚ what with the fourth one-day international scheduled for March 1 having been moved 300km across New Zealand’s north island from Napier to Hamilton.

The visitors are unlikely to complain about the change‚
having never lost at Hamilton’s Seddon Park.

SA have beaten India and New Zealand in ODIs in Hamilton‚ won a T20 against the Kiwis there and clinched a Test series at the ground in 2012.

A New Zealand Cricket release on Tuesday said an investigation into the abandonment of an ODI between New Zealand and Australia at Napier’s McLean Park on February 2 "highlighted a need for urgent remedial work on the turf‚ drainage and irrigation system".

Napier’s city council have already committed to a "$644,000 upgrade of McLean Park‚ with planning to start immediately on installing a complete replacement of the playing surface‚ drainage and irrigation system‚ on top of an existing commitment to build drop-in pitches‚ improve the lighting and build practice facilities on site".

That kind of money — almost R8.6m — will make SA’s administrators take notice.

When the Test between SA and New Zealand at Kingsmead in August was bedevilled by rain‚ KwaZulu-Natal Cricket Union officials said they could not afford the R400,000 that would pay for covers to protect the entire playing area.

Australia’s Adam Voges has retired from international
cricket, signing off with a Test batting average second only to the great Don Bradman.

Voges became the oldest player to score a century on his Test debut when he made an unbeaten 130 against West Indies two years ago, aged 35.

The right-handed batsman scored 1,485 runs at an average of 61.87, ranking him second on the all time list behind Bradman’s incredible 99.94.

Voges lost his place in the Test team after the second of two defeats to SA in November and was treated for concussion after being hit by a bouncer when batting for Western Australia in a Sheffield Shield match the same month.

Voges will lead the Prime Minister’s XI against the touring Sri Lankans in Canberra on Wednesday and has said it will be his last international match.

TMG Digital with Reuters

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