Cricket Australia has today announced that Bendigo in regional Victoria will host the 2015 Commonwealth Bank Australian Country Cricket Championships.
The six-team competition, featuring Western Australia, New South Wales, South Australia, Queensland, Victoria and the ICC East Asia Pacific (Fiji, Vanuatu, and PNG), will be played from 5-12 January 2015. The annual tournament was first held in 1984-85 and next year’s championships will be the second time that Bendigo has hosted the event.
Teams will play two-day, one-day and Twenty20 matches across the week-long championships with Western Australia looking to defend its title won in Canberra earlier this year.
Cricket Australia (CA) Executive General Manager, Game and Market Development Andrew Ingleton said the championships provide an important opportunity for regional cricketers.
“The Commonwealth Bank Australian Country Cricket Championships is central in acknowledging and celebrating the significance of country cricket.”
“Country cricket continues to be a tremendous nursery for talented young players. Regional Australia plays a critical role in Australia’s success on the world stage. Almost half of our international men’s players first learnt the game in these areas, including Mitchell Johnson, George Bailey, Brad Haddin, Peter Siddle, Aaron Finch, Phil Hughes and Nathan Lyon.
“A number of international players including Michael Bevan, Andy Bichel and Shaun Tait have also participated in these country championships and gone on to successful international careers.
“In making today’s announcement, we acknowledge in particular the support provided by the Commonwealth Bank, as well as the enthusiasm of the City of Greater Bendigo in securing hosting rights to next January’s championships.”
City of Greater Bendigo Mayor Cr Barry Lyons said the 2015 tournament will be yet another sporting coup for Bendigo.
“The City is working hard to attract sporting and other major events to our region.”
“We have got terrific facilities and infrastructure and we are definitely getting the runs on the board and forming excellent working relationships with major Australian sporting organisations such as Cricket Australia which we hope will bring even more opportunities in the future.
“This is expected to have a significant economic impact on our local economy and is also a fantastic opportunity for our own residents to watch the best country cricketers from around our nation right here in their own backyard.
“We are looking forward to this wonderful opportunity to showcase Bendigo to Australia’s best country cricketers.”
Victorian Minister for Sport and Recreation the Honourable Damian Drum congratulated Bendigo on being awarded host of the championships.
“Well done to the City of Greater Bendigo on securing the Australian Country Cricket Championships for 2015. Not only will it build excitement around cricket in the region, players and their families coming to the city from across Australia will be a significant boon for the Bendigo economy.”
Key Information – Commonwealth Bank Australian Country Cricket Championships
Date: Monday 5-12 January 2015
Location: Bendigo, Victoria
Team: 6 – Western Australia, New South Wales, South Australia, Queensland, Victoria, ICC East Asia Pacific (Fiji, Vanuatu, and PNG)
Defending Champions: Western Australia
Championships Format: Each team will play 2 x two-day, 2 x 50-over and 1 x T20 match