Hawke had a strong connection to cricket in the Canberra region as both a player and as the person responsible for bringing back the annual Prime Minister’s XI fixture to Manuka Oval.

After the series took a two-decade break between 1965 to 1984, Bob Hawke made the decision to restart the Prime Minister’s XI just 12-days after being sworn into office as the 23rd Prime Minister of Australia.

“He was passionate about reinvigorating the game and he did so in 1984,” said Cricket ACT CEO James Allsopp

“It was the catalyst to reinvigorating the Prime Minister’s XI game and this may be a timely reminder about the importance of the game and the respect we should show for it.”  

The match was played in the summer of 1983-84 with the official crowd recorded as 14,484 however almost another 1000 slipped through the gates to see major international cricket return to Manuka Oval.  

Hawke also represented the ACT as a player (Player No. 270) and played first grade for Northbourne and Turner in the local Canberra competition.

In 1992, one of the three grandstands at Manuka Oval was named the ‘Bob Hawke Stand’ in recognition of his dedication and commitment to bringing international cricket teams to Canberra.

“He has done a lot for cricket in the ACT and a lot for cricket in Australia,” said James Allsopp

“Bob realised that cricket was the very fabric of what it meant to be Australian and we were very sad to hear of his passing yesterday.”