Top cricket officials in city to talk up Townsville

Date published: 3 December 2015

More major domestic an international cricket is on the cards for Townsville following a visit to the city by Cricket Australia officials.

Cricket Australia’s Head of Cricket Operations Sean Cary and Head of Government Relations Grant Poulter discussed future opportunities for the city at the Townsville City Council’s Sport, Recreation and Parks Committee today.

The visit follows an announcement by Cricket Australia in August that Townsville’s Tony Ireland Stadium will host Papua New Guinea-Ireland internationals in February next year.

Committee chairman Cr Pat Ernst said the visit was important for Townsville’s campaign to attract major cricket matches including internationals and Sheffield Shield fixtures to the city’s ICC accredited Tony Ireland Stadium.

"As the only regional city in Australia with an internationally rated venue, Townsville is in a great position to attract major matches and it’s extremely encouraging that the city is well and truly on Cricket Australia’s radar," Cr Ernst said.

"The city is putting together an impressive track record for our capacity to stage big events as a result of a lot of hard work between the council, Townsville Cricket and CA.

"Today’s visit and presentation shows that Townsville is very much in line for more opportunities for internationals, and potentially Sheffield Shield cricket as well. Gaining ICC accreditation for the stadium was a game changer for the city and couldn’t have been done without the support of Cricket Australia and local and State cricket."

Cricket Australia’s Sean Cary said that Townsville was well positioned to stage more international and domestic cricket. "Today's presentation was an opportunity to outline our road map for cricket over the next couple of years and how we would like to see Townsville part of those plans," Cary said. "A tour match against the visiting South Africa or Pakistan men's teams late next year, or the chance for Townsville to host its first ever Test match, against Bangladesh in August/September 2017, were both outlined as possibilities. "Then there's more Australia A matches to build on the success of last year's matches against South Africa A, along with the potential to bring the Queensland Bulls to town for a Sheffield Shield match. "The Council is a terrific supporter of local cricket and we enjoy a great relationship with Council, so we look forward to working together to make it happen," Cary concluded.

The upcoming PNG-Ireland matches follow the city’s first fully accredited internationals in November last year between Papua New Guinea and Hong Kong.