Standing in what will soon become the new and expanded Greg Chappell Cricket centre in Fyshwick, Cricket ACT CEO James Allsopp and Greg Chappell Cricket Centre Managing Director Greg Tibbits announced their new partnership that sees the Premier Cricket T20 competition from first to fourth grade renamed the Greg Chappell Cricket Centre T20 Blast.

James Allsopp spoke proudly of how the two organisations work together to facilitate and service cricket in the region: “It’s wonderful to be partnering with an organisation who have the same passion and commitment for growing cricket in the Territory. We were just saying we’ve seen exponential growth in participation on the back of COVID. Obviously, cricket is seen as a sport that’s relatively safe, and with everyone being tucked away for a period of time they’re now keen to get out and play. I’d like to thank Greg for being invested in Cricket ACT and together we can continue to unite and inspire our community through cricket.”

Mr Tibbit’s passion for community cricket was on display as he too spoke: “Our commitment to Canberra has been going for 11 years now, we’re standing in our new store which will be open shortly and we’re looking forward to having it service all of the cricketers for the ACT and surrounding regions.”

“I’d just like to also thank all the players from first grade to fourth grade who are going to be involved in the competition. One thing I love is that cricket extends not only from the elite but to the guys who just love getting out there and having a crack on the weekends! To those guys, thank you – I really appreciate that we’re able to sponsor a competition in ACT Premier Cricket.”

The Greg Chappell Cricket Centre T20 blast kicks off this Sunday, November 15 with First Grade Men’s teams playing double headers across Canberra. All other grades commence later in November with the Finals taking place in December. The First Grade competition final takes place in January.

Mr Allsopp also used the opportunity to mention another T20 fixture: this year’s All Stars for Mental Health match at EPC Solar Park (formerly Phillip Oval) on November 12. This will be the first of three competitive fixtures that see the best players from the North of Canberra take on the best players from the South and will be hard-fought for a good cause: to raise money for Lifeline Canberra to provide crucial mental health support services throughout our region. “It’s for a great cause,” he said, “We know that mental health has been a major issue on the back of COVID. We know that several people within the community are suffering from isolation from loved ones or financial hardship so to play our part to raise awareness and some funds for Canberra Lifeline is something we’re really proud of.”

For Northern Frenzy All Star Captain captain Rhys Healy – one of several Northside players in attendance - the positive spin on the game would not detract from the quality of the cricket: “There’s a lot of talented players getting around Canberra and I think it’s a good opportunity to not just raise awareness and showcase the talent we’ve got, but [the game] acts as a competitive trial for the Australian Country Championships that are coming up in January.”

When asked for players to watch, Healy said: “It’s hard to go past Southside’s John Rogers – he’s probably the best stick going around in Canberra still! Northside are pretty lucky to have Ben Taylor who’s played plenty of 2nd XI cricket and will be playing during the week for the Comets as well so that’s pretty exciting.”

Gates open at 3PM, EPC Solar Park (formerly Phillip Oval) for the All Stars for Mental Health T20 on Thursday 12 November. Entry is by $10 donation, which includes two raffle tickets for a chance to win some great prizes. Online donations can be made at bit.ly/AS4MHDONATE with all proceeds going directly to Lifeline Canberra.

The new Greg Chappell Cricket Centre store will soon open at its new location at 2/80 Kembla St in Fyshwick. The store at 20 Collie St, Fyshwick, will continue to trade as normal in the meantime. Visit www.cricketcentre.com.au for more information.