My corner of the oval

… thoughts from a Kiwi cricket fan


Often over-used and misused in social media and other media outlets, in this case, the above phrase fits my thoughts precisely.  In this case, we need to #savetheBasin from ill-informed and short-sighted people who might sadly get listened to!

For some reason, my local newspaper, the Dominion Post, has decided to continuously publish a plethora of ill-informed and one-eyed “Letters to the Editor” suggesting that one of the premium cricket grounds in the world, the Basin Reserve in Wellington, is past it’s use by date, is never used, and horrifyingly, suggesting that, in order to fix the traffic congestion problems Wellington commuters endure every day, the Basin Reserve should be demolished entirely!

Have you ever heard anything so ridiculously absurd and shortsighted?

So, by this logic, because I never use the Newtown athletics track, or the National Hockey Stadium, and instead of providing them care and attention to keep them up to date and looking nice for the people who DO use them, we should just demolish them and put something else in their place?

I can’t believe there are people out there who actually seriously think demolishing things instead of looking after them and taking pride in them, is a viable solution to anything.

But the main reason people seem to have such a strong opinion about the roundabout at the Basin Reserve intersection is because they seem to think this is what is causing the traffic congestion delays in the city every day.

Let me be clear.  The roundabout at the Basin Reserve is NOT responsible for the congestion in Wellington every day!  And doing something rash and horrifying like removing the Basin Reserve, will NOT remove the traffic congestion problems at that part of the city.

Do you know what will remove the traffic congestion problems?  Well, for a start, motorists using commonsense when it comes to merging with other traffic into a single lane from three lanes, like did you know that you can’t actually fit two cars side by side into a single lane?  So maybe, if we gave each other a bit of space BEFORE we get to the single lane situation, traffic might move a little easier.

Also, this habit motorists in Wellington have of following blindly behind the car in front of them into an intersection when the Road Code clearly states that you should not enter an intersection if you cannot exit it on the other side.  We seem to have this idea that we might somehow miss out or get left behind if we don’t somehow get through the light change, not realising that if we left the intersection clear, it would free up the other intersections around the city and everyone would actually get home that little bit faster, ourselves included.

Another argument against the Basin Reserve is that it is never used.

Clearly the people with this idea really do have no idea what goes on behind the fences of the cricket ground throughout each year; fences which, incidentally have to be in place to prevent idiotic vandals doing damage and causing money to be spent on fixing up the damage caused by this, rather than using that money to do things like, oh, I don’t know, refurbish the RA Vance Stand, or do up the toilet facilities for the patrons who attend matches and events at the ground throughout the year, or install lights at the ground so that the Basin Reserve can be utilised for even move events, not just sports events either.

People for some reason have this idea that the Basin Reserve is only used during the months of November through to March.  Which, while this may be the peak time for the summer sport of cricket to be using the ground, couldn’t be further from the truth.

I mean, just this weekend coming, the Armageddon Expo is in Wellington, and they have booked out the use of the Basin Reserve over the weekend for one of their events.

And last year, the Basin Reserve was used for several musical events, notably the concert by Robbie Williams.

And currently, the Basin Reserve groundstaff have installed rugby and soccer goal posts so the ground can be used as a club rugby and soccer ground during the months of April to October.

And on the rare occasions you might drive past and see “nothing happening” at the Basin Reserve, don’t be fooled; the facilities are used by an event company, Scarlet Events, which have held many occasions and gatherings over the years, and in the years to come.

Also not forgetting that the Cricket Wellington offices are actually based AT the Basin Reserve so the ground gets “used” every day by these staff also.

Just last week, New Zealand Cricket released the schedule of matches to be fitted in to cricket grounds around the country and the Basin Reserve for the next season of cricket is being used for two international test matches, which means training and net sessions leading up to and during the matches, as well as the matches themselves.  And we haven’t even had the schedule released for the domestic cricket season, either, which means the Wellington Firebirds and Blaze cricket teams will be using the ground for training, net sessions, matches, and other functions, for the days, weeks and months in between the international cricket schedule from October through to April next year.

How can people say the Basin Reserve is never used?

Do other premier cricket grounds around the world get this much flak and disrespect?

And just in case you were thinking the Basin Reserve should be demolished because it’s an “eye-sore” or “ugly” (I mean, how can a green field surrounded by trees ever be  described as ugly, I ask you?!) these things take time and money (a lot of money, actually) and so they have to be planned out and the Wellington City Council and Cricket Wellington have got this plan set out, which you can read here if you would like to be better informed.

I would like to invite all those detractors and correspondents to actually enjoy the Basin Reserve for what it is, over the next summer months:  an oasis of green in amidst the busy hustle and bustle of commuting life, and maybe they will learn to appreciate the nice things that we have in this city of ours, instead of wanting to destroy all things pleasant and positive!

12 Feb - NZ v Aus - test day 1 - 11a

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