The NZCT Cricket Centre is a cricket-specific training facility built by the Manawatu Cricket Association (MCA) in 2014. The centre was the brainchild of former MCA CEO, Neil Hood, who felt a need to address an ongoing issue regarding quality grass practise pitches in Palmerston North.
However, this issue wasn’t going to be resolved by simply creating a new outdoor practise block. Palmerston North’s variable weather (especially pre-season and early summer) meant that an outdoor facility was probably not going to be sufficient.
Hood then looked into the idea of developing a practise facility that either had a roof, or was fully enclosed. Unfortunately, after looking around the world for viable examples to follow or copy, Hood realised this type of facility had never been constructed.
After a fair bit of investigation, the most cost effective method was to find an existing building product that grows plants, fruit, trees, etc, and then see if that idea could be adapted to house cricket pitches.
Ultimately Hoods vision was to create a world-class cricket training centre so that local players did not feel the need to leave Manawatu in order to gain access to quality facilities.
But it wasn’t only about developing local elite players, the facility is available to all ages and abilities, and cricketers from around the Central Districts region, New Zealand, and also the world.