Nuriootpa’s Centennial Park Oval has been confirmed as the venue for a Twenty20 match against the Melbourne Stars on Saturday, 16 November featuring local and international superstars of the female game.
It is the first time an official Big Bash game will be played in regional South Australia, following a successful men’s pre-season internal trial in Nuriootpa before KFC BBL|08.
Nuriootpa Cricket Club committee member Brett Lydeamore has helped to lead the process of hosting a game in the Barossa.
“We see it as being a great opportunity to showcase cricket at the highest level in the Barossa,” Lydeamore said.
“It’s a really good investment into the future of cricket in the region and especially for aspiring females. That’s an area that we want to improve in – really getting more girls in the region playing cricket.
“We have reached out to the association and they have been able to schedule a bye in all grades for the weekend of the game so we would really be hoping to see a couple of thousand people out here.
“When we hosted the trial match with the men, we had close to 2000 people here and half of those would have been kids. That’s what it’s all about for us, getting kids involved.”
Work has begun on a new practice net facility at Centennial Park Oval, with the Barossa Council, the South Australian Cricket Association, Cricket Australia and the Australia Cricketer’s Association assisting with funding through the Australian Cricket Infrastructure Fund.
“The (Barossa and Light) association has done a lot of work in recent years in development of cricket in the regions with the introduction of plenty turf wickets,” Lydeamore said.
“The nets project was something that we wanted to pursue in the next couple of years and (SACA) has enabled us to fast track those plans and commit to hosting this game.”
SACA Chief Executive Keith Bradshaw is thrilled that the Strikers are taking WBBL to the country.
“Taking a game to regional South Australia aligns perfectly with the WBBL’s focus on family-friendly entertainment and a festival-style atmosphere,” Bradshaw said.
“The Nuriootpa Cricket Club has a fantastic facility and their volunteers are working alongside SACA staff to ensure the ground and the surrounding facilities are at the required standard.
“I have no doubt that this will be a very successful event where we can engage country residents that may find it difficult to get to Karen Rolton Oval for our other home games.
“Our WBBL cricketers are such fantastic athletes and role models, so it will be exciting for Barossa kids to have the chance to get up close with their heroes.”
The Strikers begin their WBBL campaign on 19 October at Karen Rolton Oval. Entry is free to all WBBL matches in South Australia.