The Adelaide Strikers will play a match in regional South Australia for the first time on Saturday and will leave a lasting legacy for the Nuriootpa Cricket Club.
Activities at Centennial Park Oval begin at 12.30 p.m. with the match against the Melbourne Stars commencing at 2 p.m.
Work will soon be complete on a practice net facility at Centennial Park Oval, with the Barossa Council, the South Australian Cricket Association, Cricket Australia and the Australia Cricketer’s Association assisting with funding through the Australian Cricket Infrastructure Fund.
Nuriootpa Cricket Club committee member Brett Lydeamore has been instrumental in getting the rebel WBBL competition to the region, putting in countless hours of work behind the scenes, demonstrating his love for the community and love for the game.
“The (Barossa and Light) Association has done a lot of work in recent years in development of cricket in the region with the introduction of plenty of turf wickets,” Lydeamore said.
“The nets project was something that we wanted to pursue in the next couple of years and (SACA) has enabled us to fast track those plans and commit to hosting this game.”
Support from the Barossa and Light Cricket Association has been invaluable, with the association scheduling a bye for all grades on the day of the WBBL match, to encourage attendance.
“We see it as being a great opportunity to showcase cricket at the highest level in the Barossa,” Lydeamore said.
“It’s a really good investment into the future of cricket in the region and especially for aspiring females. That’s an area that we want to improve in – really getting more girls in the region playing cricket.”
Not only are the Strikers committed to taking elite-level cricket to the Barossa – an enormous logistical project – the net facility will enhance the Nuriootpa Cricket Club for years to come.
With WBBL matches being played at boutique venues across the country, children and families can get up close and personal with players after the game and be nearer to the on-field action than ever before.
SACA Chief Executive, Keith Bradshaw expressed his delight at taking the Strikers to the country, with WBBL cricketers considered outstanding role models by many.
“Our WBBL cricketers are such fantastic athletes and role models, so it will be exciting for Barossa kids to have the chance to get up close with their heroes,” Bradshaw said.
“I have no doubt that this will be a very successful event where we can engage regional residents that may find it difficult to get to Karen Rolton Oval for our other home games.”