City se­cures coun­try champs

Geraldton Guardian - - Front Page - Justin Fris

Ger­ald­ton will host the 2018 Toy­ota Aus­tralian Coun­try Cricket Cham­pi­onships, to be held from Jan­uary 5 to 13 next year.

State and na­tional cricket dig­ni­taries gath­ered with Ger­ald­ton cricket and gov­ern­ment rep­re­sen­ta­tives on Wed­nes­day morn­ing at the Cham­pion Bay fore­shore, where the news was for­mally an­nounced by Cricket Aus­tralia ex­ec­u­tive gen­eral man­ager of game and mar­ket de­vel­op­ment, An­drew In­gle­ton.

“Re­gional Aus­tralia and the cham­pi­onships have proven to be a suc­cess­ful path­way for Aus­tralian Test match tal­ent,” he said.

“And ap­prox­i­mately 45 per cent of all elite tal­ent in Aus­tralia has been drawn from coun­try re­gions.”

WA Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive Christina Matthews praised the City of Greater Ger­ald­ton, Cricket Aus­tralia and lo­cal stake­hold­ers for work­ing to­gether to se­cure the event and said she was hope­ful Ger­ald­ton could at­tain sev­eral long-term lega­cies from the car­ni­val.

“I hope they leave a last­ing legacy for the crick­et­ing com­mu­nity for years to come,” she said. “And it is not just a nine-day event and then it moves on.

“It’s very im­por­tant that when we bring these events, there is a last­ing legacy — from par­tic­i­pa­tion, fa­cil­ity de­vel­op­ment or even help­ing the town grow and bring other events here.”

Deputy mayor Neil McIl­waine was in at­ten­dance rep­re­sent­ing Mayor Shane Van Styn.

“The City over re­cent years has de­vel­oped a proven track record of se­cur­ing and de­liv­er­ing high-level events that have achieved their goals and de­liv­ered to our lo­cal com­mu­nity,” he said.

“Re­cently (there has been) a sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment in our show­piece fa­cil­i­ties — Eadon Clarke Oval, with the won­der­ful fa­cil­i­ties there, Won­thella Oval, with the up­grade of the play­ing sur­face, ac­cess and com­mu­nity fa­cil­i­ties, the won­der­ful lights that we’ve got to bring events that can be hosted day or night.”

Mr McIl­waine said the City was com­mit­ted to fur­ther­ing their part­ner­ship with cricket.

“It’s some­what of an un­der­state­ment that we are ex­tremely ex­cited,” he said.

Car­ni­val fix­tures will be pub­licly re­leased in the com­ing months, with en­try to all matches free.

Picture: Justin Fris

Cricket and gov­ern­ment stake­hold­ers spend time with young play­ers who rep­re­sent the fu­ture of Ger­ald­ton cricket af­ter Wed­nes­day morn­ing’s an­nounce­ment.

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