Big Bash Cricket coming to Albury
The Melbourne Stars and Sydney Thunder will play in three games at the Lavington Sports Ground in Albury on 13 December, in a landmark deal to bring Big Bash cricket to regional communities.
Both clubs’ men’s and women’s sides will be in action as the Thunder hosts the Stars in the first ever WBBL match to be played regionally, while the men play out two BBL|05 Big Final re-matches in preparation for the BBL|06 season.
Melbourne Stars CEO, Clint Cooper, expressed the Club’s gratitude for the opportunity to connect more with regional Victoria through this initiative.
“The Melbourne Stars is thrilled to be bringing both our men’s and women’s teams to Albury-Wodonga for what is sure to be a spectacle and a great opportunity for young girls and boys to see their heroes up close,” said Cooper.
“The Club was very pleased that a season-proper WBBL match could be arranged in a regional area and it’s a great opportunity to have a full scale practice match for our men’s team against new rivals, the Thunder.
“I’m sure the re-match of the BBL|05 Big Final will be something that Albury-Wodonga and surrounding regions will be eager to see, and we’re looking forward to having lots of opportunities over the two days to meet and greet the whole community up here.”
Sydney Thunder General Manager Nick Cummins acknowledged the work of the two local authorities in helping to facilitate bringing the reigning BBL and WBBL champions to the area.
“Having the opportunity to replay the grand final is perfect preparation between the two leading clubs of the Big Bash,” said Nick Cummins.
“We’ve been really keen to bring the Thunder to regional NSW for a number of years and we are delighted to have the support of the Albury and Wodonga Councils to make this event happen.
“Junior cricket is booming in this region and it’s a great opportunity to showcase the Thunder to our newest fans.”
The WBBL blockbuster will feature a number of past and current Southern Stars including Meg Lanning, Jess Cameron, Kristen Beams, Alex Blackwell and Renee Farrell, while the men’s sides will include the likes of Shane Watson for the Thunder and David Hussey leading the Stars.
AlburyCity Mayor Henk van de Ven, who will be barracking for Sydney Thunder, said: "Lavington Sports Ground will be an excellent venue for the Border Bash and its upcoming major redevelopment will further strengthen its reputation as one of regional Australia's premier sporting facilities, which will enable us to continue attracting major events such as the Border Bash."
Wodonga Council Mayor Anna Speedie, who will be barracking for Melbourne Stars, said: "It’s fabulous that Albury-Wodonga has been chosen as the venue by the big guns of the BBL for their practice match and we’re thrilled that the Thunder and Stars’ women’s teams will play for WBBL points. I urge local sports fans to come along and see some of Australia's best cricketers in action at the Border Bash."
NSW Minister for Tourism and Sport Stuart Ayres said the matches promise to be hugely popular with local cricket fans and visitors alike from other parts of NSW.
“Hosting these Big Bash matches is a massive win for the Albury-Wodonga region. Cricket fans from both sides of the border will be heading down to Lavington Oval in droves to watch the finest talent from our men's and women's Melbourne Stars and Sydney Thunder thrash it out.
“Local business and tourist accommodation will receive a massive boost too with a large crowd predicted to take part in the action.”
Ticket information and further details will be released in the coming months.