The Australia v Sri Lanka Test
At long last, Manuka Oval became the eleventh Australian ground to host a test match. The community received it with open arms and tickets were sold out on day two. Each day saw a crowd that was energetic, excited and appreciative of the opportunity to watch elite Test cricket in Canberra. Amongst officials and cricket personalities the verdict was one of approval; impressed by the quality of the ground, the crowd, the city.
All those who helped put it together will remember those four days for years to come. The Test Match will remain a great source of pride for the staff of Cricket ACT, our cricket community and more broadly the residents of this city. Mitchell Starc’s 10 wicket haul and maiden test centuries to Travis Head and Kurtis Patterson the highlights of an emphatic victory for the Australians.
Emergence of Women’s Cricket
Each year we are seeing the women’s game grow and 2019 was an exceptional year in this regard. We are seeing the fruits of our labour from the Meteors program, who started the 2019/20 WNCL season perfectly.
The Glenda Hall Shield included a team from the Far South Coast Cricket Association and ended in a thrilling day of finals that were well attended at Phillip Oval. It was Eastlake who stole the show, overcoming Weston Creek Molonglo in a gripping chase that went down to the wire.
Additionally, 2019 has seen the introduction of a new women’s competition, the Female T20 Bash, which features the Meteors and a selection of talented players from the region’s grade cricket teams.
All Stars for Mental Health Day
On November 17 we hosted a charity match festival, the All Stars for Mental Health Day, in which proceeds went to Lifeline Canberra. With mental health remaining a prevalent issue in all our communities, we took pride in using cricket as the vehicle to make a difference.
It was a timely reminder to check in on those around us and to have a conversation about the impact mental health has in our lives.
We were so pleased that the cricket community showed up for the cause, buying raffle tickets and items from the canteen, so that we could donate much-needed funds to Lifeline to take calls from people who need it the most.
Shortly after the Test match, the Hobart Hurricanes travelled to Canberra to take on the Sydney Thunder in a sold-out match. It proved that Big Bash cricket has a home at Manuka and this was backed up by the Sydney Thunder booking another two home games in Canberra for BBL09.
The first was unfortunately plagued by smoke but we are all looking forward to the Thunder taking on the reigning champs, the Renegades, on January 15.
One of the Cricket ACT’s major goals is producing elite cricketers. With several former ACT Juniors receiving state and BBL contracts, we continue to punch above our weight in this regard. Despite making up just 1.56% of the Australian population, we have 5.88% of the contracted playing population!
Two ACT players featured in the World Cup (Nathan Lyon and Jason Behrendorff), and 10 have state, BBL contracts or both.
Our contracted players are as follows:
- Nathan Lyon (Cricket Australia)
- Alex Ross (SA and Sydney Thunder)
- Nick Winter (SA and Adelaide Strikers)
- Tom Rogers (TAS and Hobart Hurricanes)
- Jason Behrendorff (WA and Perth Scorchers)
- Matt Gilkes (NSW and Sydney Thunder)
- Mac Wright (TAS)
- Greg West (NSW)
- Henry Hunt (SA)
- Aaron Ayre (VIC)
Ginninderra’s Douglas Cup drought broken
It had been 26 years since the Tigers last claimed the Douglas Cup, and they hadn’t made a grand final appearance since. They were not satisfied with simply making the final and displayed resilience and focus to overcome a powerful Weston Creek Molonglo squad.
Ginninderra also received national recognition at Cricket Australia’s A Sport for All Awards, with the Premier Club of the Year award. The award is a credit to the work that has been done by the club’s volunteers and administrators, creating a club that is centred around community and is a home for all its members.
2020 is set to be one of our biggest years yet. In local cricket, Weston Creek will look to continue their impressive start to the year as the other clubs look to halt their march towards multiple titles to accompany the John Gallop Cup. The Lynn O’Meara Cup is evenly poised heading into the final rounds as teams vie for semi-final spots.
The ACT Comets team return to the Australian Country Championships for the first time in four years. We wish them all the best of luck in their return to the national stage starting Jan 3. We will also watch with great interest as the ACT 15s boys compete at the 15s national championships later in the summer.
With five matches of the Women’s T20 World Cup, plus a T20 Tri-Series, we’re going to have the best women’s cricketers on the planet on display in January and February at Manuka. We’ll be watching the Meteors as they take on New South Wales January 6 and Queensland on January 7, and the Thunder who return to Manuka on January 15.
We hope to see you all at Manuka Oval and the cricket grounds around the Territory, playing and enjoying our great sport in 2020.
From all at Cricket ACT, happy new year and best wishes for 2020!