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Women’s World Cup 2022 – New Zealand’s grounds to get gender-neutral facilities

The New Zealand government is funding a NZD 2 million (USD 1.38 million approx) upgrade of five venues to ensure the gender-neutral facilities for the players. The tournament is to be played across five venues: the Basin Reserve in Wellington, Seddon Park in Hamilton, Hagley Oval and the NZC High Performance Centre in Christchurch, and University Oval in Dunedin.

The upgradation of the venues will focus on revamping player facilities, including the toilets at the grounds, to ensure they are gender-neutral ahead of the World Cup.

“This is what major events are all about,” Andrea Nelson, the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 CEO, said while welcoming the announcement of the package. “Beyond the nationwide celebration of cricket in 2022, the Cricket World Cup ’22 legacy will improve the experience of our women and girls in cricket for future generations.”

Earlier this year, Grant Robertson, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Sport and Recreation, had also announced an NZD 265 million (USD 183 million approx) Sport Recovery Package as part of the Covid-19 response funding. Out of that amount, NZD 7.3 million (USD 5.04 million approx) was part of the World Cup Accessible Venues Fund to push for upgradation of facilities across venues for three major women’s events – the Cricket World Cup in 2022 as well as the Rugby World Cup in 2021 and the 2023 FIFA World Cup.

“Hosting three women’s World Cups in three years is a massive opportunity to drive positive change and put New Zealand on the world map when it comes to women in sport,” Robertson said.

An ICC release said Auckland’s Eden Park – which could host matches across all three World Cups – has also been earmarked for gender-neutral upgrades, while the facilities at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui have been adjudged to already be at an acceptable standard.

In August, the ICC had postponed the Women’s ODI World Cup from 2021 to 2022 with the Covid-19 situation around the world not allowing the participating teams to prepare for the event. The qualifiers for the 2022 edition are scheduled to be played in Sri Lanka in July 2021.

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