Cricket Victoria and Cricket Australia today welcomed the Victorian Opposition's announcement that it will commit $35 million to state cricket including $25 million to redevelop the Junction Oval into the home of Victorian cricket and $10 million to help grow the game's grassroots.
The funding commitment will allow Cricket Victoria to move ahead with plans to transform the 159-year old Junction Oval in St Kilda into the Victorian Cricket and Community Centre, a year-round elite training base for the state's leading cricketers and a hub for community cricket.
As previously announced Cricket Victoria and Cricket Australia will invest a combined $10m into the Junction Oval project.
Commenting on the announcement Cricket Victoria Chief Executive Officer Tony Dodemaide said, "The Victorian Cricket and Community Centre at the Junction Oval will deliver a long-awaited and much-needed home for cricket in our state. It will be a place where cricketers and coaches from all over Victoria will come to hone their skills and gain access to world-class training facilities all year round.
"As well as a cricket development centre, the Junction Oval will be a place for our broader community to come together through the establishment of the new National Centre for Diversity through Cricket, which will be housed at the ground. A key element of this is Harmony in Cricket, a program led by CA and CV that fosters diversity and inclusion through the game.
"Importantly the investment will upgrade the Junction Oval to first-class standard, allowing it to host elite state matches for men and women.
"Cricket has a long history at the Junction Oval through the St Kilda Cricket Club's 159 years of playing at the ground, as well as the use of the facility as a state cricket venue. Albert Park is home to many community sporting clubs and CV values its relationships with those clubs and the other stakeholders in the area.
"The Opposition's $10 million commitment for community cricket is well-earned recognition of the strength and hard work of cricket communities in metropolitan, regional and country Victoria. The people in our clubs are the engine room of our game and our most important asset. They work tirelessly in the true interests of the sport and will certainly value this recognition today."
Dodemaide said Cricket Victoria will continue to work closely with current ground users the St.Kilda Cricket Club and Old Melburnians Football Club.
"We have worked cooperatively with the St.Kilda Cricket Club and Old Melburnians Football Club over the years and our support for the clubs will continue as part of the delivery of this project."
Commenting on the announcement, Cricket Australia Chief Executive Officer James Sutherland said, "We welcome the Victorian Opposition's commitment to this project which is a clear sign that it values the contribution cricket makes to the Victorian community as the highest participation sport in the state.
"This funding will allow Victorian cricket to move ahead with the long-awaited Junction Oval project which is so important to the future development of the game in Victoria.
"We have always said that being able to host first-class matches at a dedicated cricket venue away from the MCG would be a win for fans of cricket and football, as it gives cricket tailored facilities and paves the way for the AFL to stage matches at the MCG earlier in March.
"A second first-class venue in Victoria will also enhance the state's ability to attract more ICC major events such as the ICC World Twenty20," Sutherland concluded.
08 NOVEMBER, 2014|Dylan Atkinson | Victorian Cricket and Community Centre