News that Cricket Tasmania has secured a Test match at Bellerive this summer between Australia and South Africa is exciting forthe state’s thousands of cricket fans.
The star-studded South African team is currently ranked third in the world Test rankings behind Australia and India, and willprovide Australia with much stiffer competition than the depleted West Indian side that padded up at Bellerive last year.
The challenge, however, is for all cricket fans to now throw their support behind our cricket administrators – who workedtirelessly to lock in the game for all Tasmanians – by attending the game in their thousands.
Yesterday, Cricket Tasmania chief executive David Johnston said that Cricket Australia and CricketTasmania had been working together to look at ways of attracting fans to international cricket in Hobart.
It may sound parochial, but Bellerive Oval is one of, if not the most picturesque groundin the world. It’s hard to think of a more appealing setting anywhere in worldcricket.
By having the game secured for Tasmanians, it also speaks volumes of this state’s ability to attract national and world-classathletes and major sporting events.We already host two successful AFL teams at either end of the state, attracting thousands of fans every game.
Bellerive attracts capacity crowds to almost every home game for the Hobart Hurricanes in the Big BashLeague.
Targa Tasmania – which was recently won further state government support to the tune of $1.65 million – is regarded as one of thefinest events of its type in the world. It draws almost 3000 people to the state a year, and injects about $8 million intothe economy.
We’re poised to host a world cup netball match between traditional rivals Australia and New Zealand at the Silverdome later thisyear, and then there’s talk that Launceston may be granted a licence to host a Tasmanian side in the trans-Tasman competition, theANZ Championship.The ramifications of that are enormous.
More than 55,000 fans flock to Symmons Plains every year for a round of the V8 Supercar championships – it is the largest single sporting event on the state calendar.
As impressive a list as that is, however, Tasmanians still need to show support for these type of world-class events.
The alternative is, we run the risk of other states with a track record of attracting large crowds poaching these events fromunder our noses.
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