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New Zealand XI Vs England Warm-Up: Queenstown The Most Beautiful Cricket Ground? (PICTURES)

27/02/2013 12:58 GMT | Updated 27/02/2013 13:06 GMT

Members of England's Barmy Army who did not travel to India for the seminal Test series win in the winter are forgiven if they saved their pennies for the trip to New Zealand. Because on Wednesday England played at Queenstown, one of the world's most beautiful cricket.

queenstown

As the pictures illustrate, Queenstown Events Centre Ground is as idyllic as it is stunning. If an English village cricket team's ground was to be plucked and dropped in a stunning location, most would opt for Queenstown.

queenstown

Opened in 1997, the ground is located on Queenstown Lakes District Council–owned land, between the foot of the Remarkables and the shores of Lake Wakatipu. The nearby Queenstown International Airport's Runway threshold adds to the surroundings' aura, boasting jaw-dropping views of large aircraft taking off and landing.

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Ian Bell wasn't busy plane-spotting however, as he made good on his promise to start as he means to go on ahead of the first Test next week with an unbeaten hundred on day one of England's only warm-up match.

queenstown

The tourists made their intention clear to persevere with Nick Compton as Alastair Cook's Test opening partner, by deploying him rather than Joe Root in that position at the Queenstown Events Centre ground, but it was Bell (127no) who underpinned a total of 357 for seven.

Cook (60), Matt Prior and Root - in the number six spot, where he made a half-century on Test debut in December - also all made significant contributions.

Queenstown Cricket Ground