In a first for the Northern Territory, the Strikers’ men will face the Perth Scorchers at Traeger Park on Saturday 13 January and the women’s team will play two Rebel WBBL|03 games, also against the Scorchers, on the same weekend.
The South Australian Cricket Association worked with Cricket Australia to strike the historic two-year deal with the NT Government to support the Alice Springs visits.
KFC BBL|07 will feature eight additional regular season matches compared with last summer as the action heads to new venues around the country.
Adelaide Strikers General Manager Bronwyn Klei said: “We can’t wait to take our Strikers teams to Alice Springs in January to be part of the first Big Bash League matches played in the Northern Territory.
“It’s important that cricket is accessible to more Australians outside the major cities so we are thrilled to start a partnership with the Northern Territory Government to make this event possible.
“It will be exciting to showcase our Strikers men’s and women’s teams to the people of Alice Springs and the surrounding communities.
“We have some exciting plans around Indigenous engagement and recognition.
“It will also be an ideal opportunity to create a program of game development activities around our visit and to build on the strong relationships South Australia already has with cricket in the Northern Territory.”
Strikers men’s coach Jason Gillespie said it was important to showcase top level cricket in regional areas.
"We’re all about growing the game and we need to bring it to the public as much as we can,” he said.
"We see it as our responsibility and duty to get it out there to these places and we’re absolutely buzzing about the opportunity and hopefully getting some fans to travel and support us in Alice Springs.
“It’ll be a wonderful atmosphere and experience in the red centre of Australia and we're very excited."
Cricket Australia’s Executive General Manager of Events and Leagues, Anthony Everard said he is excited to welcome Alice Springs as a venue for next season’s Big Bash League.
“We are excited to be able to bring the WBBL and BBL to Alice Springs for the next two seasons and applaud the Adelaide Strikers for their leadership shown to grow the game and celebrate Australia’s indigenous heritage and culture.
“This partnership between the Strikers and the Northern Territory Government will help drive cricket’s strategy to continue to be Australia’s favourite sport and a sport for all Australians.”
NT Member for Braitling Dale Wakefield said it was important to attract top-class sporting events to the Territory.
“As part of this deal, the Strikers and Scorchers WBBL teams will also travel to Alice to play two games in January,” she said. “These WBBL games will be a key feature in our push to grow participation in women’s sport.
“The BBL attracts large national and international TV audiences, particularly in India, and these two matches in Alice Springs will be a wonderful opportunity to promote Central Australia to a key tourism market.”
Member for Namatjira, Chansey Paech said: “This is wonderful news for Alice Springs. It is great to have such a profile sporting event take place in the town in January.”
NT Cricket CEO Troy Watson said it is great to continue building on the success of recent Sheffield Shield contests in Alice Springs and Cricket in the Territory.
“It’s a significant opportunity for the NT to host a game of this magnitude,” he said.
“Recent census results show a more than 36% increase in participation in cricket in the NT, with participation rates in remote communities at an all-time high, so hosting a game where our fans can interact and enjoy the spectacle of the BBL is an exciting opportunity for our players, clubs and fans alike.”
The biggest-ever KFC BBL season will feature 43 games in 47 days, eight more regular season matches compared to last season. Several of these extra games will be played at new venues around the country.
The Strikers will again play four BBL games at Adelaide Oval this summer.