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Point-blank: Dunedin where the DRS was first launched

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Dunedin is New Zealand’s largest city by area and arguably the most spectacular in terms of contrasting landscapes. One of the striking features when you enter Dunedin is the Otago University with its various buildings built in a vast area covering 100,000 acres of land. Part of this vast expanse is the University Oval, a sports ground located at Logan Park, and owned by the Dunedin City Council.

The ground was originally owned by the University of Otago, but ownership was transferred to the city council when a redevelopment was completed in the early 2000s. The ground is the home of both the Otago Cricket Association and the University of Otago Rugby Football Club, and is also used as a training base by other rugby sides.

The University Oval where Sri Lanka played their World Cup match against Afghanistan is best remembered for hosting the first game where the DRS (Decision Review System) was used. After the system was first tested in a series between Sri Lanka and India in 2008, the ICC officially launched it on November 24, 2009 during the first Test between New Zealand and Pakistan played at this venue.

Since then the DRS has gained ground substantially around the world with the exception of India who are the only country still not to come to grips with it and have refused to have it in any bilateral series with them.

Compared to the vast sums of money that was wasted in building new stadiums and renovating existing ones to host World Cup matches of 2011 by Sri Lanka Cricket, the venues at New Zealand where Sri Lanka has so far played have been rather down to earth. The hosts have kept the expenses down to a minimum by constructing temporary stands and buildings where possible to host the World Cup matches. Though the constructions are temporary they conform to the standards required by the ICC for a world event.

For instance the media box where journalists were allocated to cover the Sri Lanka-Afghanistan World Cup match was a vast tent with all facilities and ample room to accommodate 50 journalists easily although there were not many present.

A media complex, which consists of television and radio commentary rooms, is situated at the northern end of the ground. Temporary scaffolding for television cameras was built at both ends of the ground (above the media complex, and on the bank at the southern end) when required. A historic grandstand located at the southern end of the ground, and an electronic scoreboard on the north-eastern side completes the venue.

The grandstand complex includes changing rooms, members’ rooms, lounges and bars, players’ viewing areas, a medical room, kitchens, offices, umpires’ rooms, a canteen and shop, media rooms and storage rooms. A building attached to the rear hosts the University Rugby Club.

The University Oval with a capacity of just 5,500 became New Zealand’s seventh Test ground when it hosted its first Test match on 4 January 2008, between New Zealand and Bangladesh. This was Dunedin’s first Test match for ten years. NZ$6 million was spent refurbishing the University Oval and it has now replaced Carisbrook as Dunedin’s Test cricket venue.

Carisbrook, Dunedin is where Sri Lanka drew the second Test against New Zealand in 1995 to create history, Having won the first Test played at Napier, Sri Lanka clinched the two-Test series 1-0 to record their first Test and series win overseas. A year later they were to change the style of one-day batting with the likes of Sanath Jayasuriya and Romesh Kaluwitharana by going onto win the World Cup.


Apart from the cricket, what Dunedin has to offer are many. There is the spectacular Dunedin train trips, the Botanic Gardens which has 28 tranquil hectares, the Cadbury chocolate factory, the Larnach Castle, the only castle in New Zealand, Baldwin Street, the steepest street in the world (350 metres long and rising from 30 metres above sea level to 100metres above sea level at the top) and the Penguin Beach Experience amongst others. Dunedin has 2.9 percent of New Zealand 4.5 million population and ranks eighth in population size out of the 73 districts.

Last modified on Saturday, 28 February 2015 20:23

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