Auckland’s magnificent Eden Park has welcomed not just cricketers but everyone from the Queen Mum to the Dalai Lama. With its soaring stands seating around 40,000, it’s an imposing but sociable venue, a new internal concourse allowing you to nip out quickly and pick up a beer or a burger. During the World Cup, it hosted four matches, including the semi-final between New Zealand and South Africa. Noted for its unusual baseball diamond design, Auckland’s sub-tropical conditions tend to favour slow and spin bowlers here.
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Flour power in the Park
Eden Park was the setting for one of the sport’s most controversial matches in September 1981. The Springbok rugby tour of New Zealand split the nation and spectators alike with the final test disrupted by anti-Apartheid demonstrations.
On the streets around the ground, police and protesters traded punches and missiles and inside it was no less hostile. Throughout a bruising match, players were targeted by flour bombs from a Cessna aeroplane which circled overhead and flares fired from the crowd, one projectile hitting All Black prop Gary Knight.
On the pitch, the All Blacks won the match at the death with an injury-time penalty but that was just a footnote.+64 9 815 5551