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Queenstown - cricket's latest international venue

January 03, 2003 12:11 IST

Queenstown is a resort town located at the center of the South Island some 300 kilometers to the north-west of Dunedin. Nestled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown is considered the adventure capital of the Southern Hemisphere. Overlooked by the majestic Southern Alps, the town was named because "...it was fit for Queen Victoria." Queenstown is today recognised internationally as New Zealand's premier visitor destination.

The town has more than just breathtaking scenery and a diverse range of attractions - it's the people, visitors find enchanting. In fact in 1998, Queenstown was again voted Friendliest Foreign City in a poll of 37,000 readers of Conde Nast Traveler, a top US Travel Publication. Queenstown first won the award in 1996. In the same publication Queenstown was positioned the 14th best city in the world alongside such names as Vienna, London, Paris and Hong Kong. It was the only New Zealand destination to rank in the World's top 20.

The town established during the 1860s gold rushes was initially called the Canvas Town. After the gold rush declined, Queenstown reverted back into a small farming settlement with a leaning towards tourism since the second World War.

The John Davies Oval at the Queenstown Events Centre will become international cricket's latest venue - the 144th ground to host a LOI and will also be New Zealand's 10th international ground.

Interestingly, only two matches have been played at this venue. The first was a limited over State Shield match between hosts Otago and Wellington on 2 January 2002 (won by the latter by 3 runs). The second was a three-day match between the touring England team against an Otago XI from 2-4 March 2002 (the match was drawn).

Mohandas Menon