Home sweet home . . . North Otago Cricket Association chairman Peter Cameron outside the association's new pavilion at Centennial Park. PHOTO: DANIEL BIRCHFIELD

For the first time in more than a century, the North Otago Cricket Association has a home of its own.

The association’s $360,000 pavilion at Centennial Park, next to the Excelsior Sports Club rooms, is close to completion after years of planning and several months of construction work.

North Otago Cricket Association chairman Peter Cameron said the pavilion was used for the first time at an under-17 tournament last week and the small amount of work that remained would be completed for the three-day fixture between Otago A and Canterbury A on November 11-13.

After a long wait, he said it was the first time the association had a place to call home.

“The North Otago Cricket Association has been around for 119 years, so it’s taken that long to have our own permanent home.”

The ground floor will mainly be used for storage and for players to shelter from wind or rain.

Scorers and team management staff will be based in the upper level on match days and the association’s development officers will work from there during the week.

An agreement has also been reached with the Excelsior club for players to use its facilities, such as changing rooms, and for post-match functions and presentations.

The building will be named the Payne Pavilion after long-serving groundsman Russell Payne, who has volunteered at Centennial Park and other North Otago grounds for about 40 years.Best SneakersTHE SNEAKER BULLETIN