In 2010 and 2011 the city of Christchurch in New Zealand was hit by a devastating earthquake sequence that lead to major loss of life and the destruction of over 70% of the city's central business district. Despite substantial economic, social and environmental issues arising in the aftermath of the earthquakes sport and events have become a significant focus of the city's post-disaster regeneration strategy. The study focuses on the development and upgrading of cricket infrastructure in the "public space" of Hagley Park in Christchurch for the 2015 Cricket World Cup. The themes of recovery and competitiveness are used to analyse policy processes, the rhetoric of government and sports authorities and the opposition from the civic society. The study argues that the suspension of "normal" planning processes in a post-disaster environment and the hosting of the Cricket World Cup allowed for the development of a controversial project that would previously not have been tenable.