Home of cricket in NSW officially unveiled –
Cricket in NSW has a new home following the official opening of Cricket NSW’s new state-of-the-art, $60 million Center of Excellence at Sydney Olympic Park.
Cricket Central will be unveiled today at a Community Open Day attended by thousands of cricket lovers who will take a look at where international superstars Pat Cummins, Steve Smith and Alyssa Healy will train.
Sport Minister Alister Henskens said the NSW Government’s $30m investment in the facility will ensure Cricket Central plays a key role in NSW continuing to produce cricketers who excel on the international stage.
“Australia’s best cricketers now have the best cricket facility in the world,” said Mr Henskens.
“Cricket Central will ensure that NSW remains the dominant state in domestic Australian cricket and continues to produce international cricketers to win Ashes Series and World Cups for decades to come.”
Cricket Central features an ICC-compliant oval, 15 indoor nets, 43 outdoor cricket lanes, a gymnasium, function facilities and medical rooms.
The facility will host the NSW Blues and NSW Breakers teams, as well as the Sydney Thunder and Sydney Sixers BBL and WBBL teams. It will also serve as the headquarters for Cricket NSW’s 150 coaching and administrative staff.
Planning and Homes Secretary Anthony Roberts said Cricket Central is one of dozens of planning projects being accelerated as part of the government’s response to the pandemic, aiming to create thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of investment in the state’s economy to trick into.
“Located in the heart of Sydney, Sydney Olympic Park is emerging as a thriving suburb with opportunities for the local community to play the big stage at world-class sporting facilities right at their back door,” said Mr Roberts.
“We are proud to be working with Cricket NSW to build this groundbreaking facility as we continue to create a fully integrated suburb that connects the community like nowhere else in the world.”
Cricket NSW CEO Lee Germon said the opening of Cricket Central was the culmination of a long-term project which has had strong support from the NSW Government.
“This project has taken years of work with support from all levels of government and from all of our construction partners,” said Mr. Germon.
“While it is home to our elite players and staff, it is also home to all those who play and love cricket in the state. It’s a place that brings all the cricket communities together.”
Parramatta member Geoff Lee said the state-of-the-art facility will be central to the growth of cricket, not just in Sydney but across the state.
“Cricket Central also offers dedicated multi-purpose community facilities that are used by more than 35,000 club and community cricketers annually, bridging the gap between elite and community cricket,” Mr Lee said.
Cricket NSW has also been awarded $6.4 million in Round 1 of the NSW Government’s Centers of Excellence scheme for the construction of a cricket learning and community centre, lighting of the main oval and turf nets and an additional community pitch as part of Phase 2 of the project .
For more information on the Center of Excellence program and to register your interest in Round 2 of the programme, visit www.sport.nsw.gov.au/grants.