South Africa tour match moved over stadium concerns

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand Cricket has decided to move the fourth one-day international between New Zealand and South Africa, scheduled for March 1, from Napier's McLean Park to Hamilton's Seddon Park because of an "unacceptable risk" the Napier stadium might not be fit for play.

The decision follows the abandonment of the Chappell-Hadlee one-day international between New Zealand and Australia in Napier earlier this month which was caused by a saturated outfield. Although rain stopped not long after the scheduled start, poor drainage meant that water continued to lie on the playing area and the ground was unsuitable for play.

It was the third one-day international in Napier to be abandoned because of the ground conditions since 2013.

New Zealand Cricket operations manager Anthony Crummy said an investigation had found "shortcomings" in the drainage and irrigation systems at McLean Park which created "an unacceptable risk" of a similar problem with the South Africa match.

"The investigation concludes that drought conditions in the Hawke's Bay necessitated significant levels of watering in the days leading up to the match which, combined with a limited drainage infrastructure and rain on match-day, resulted in a worst-case scenario," Crummy said.

Hamilton will also host the first match of the five-match one-day series between New Zealand and South Africa.