Local Sport

Alice Springs Stripped Of BBL Match

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Following an inspection of the Traeger Park playing surface by Cricket Australia officials the outfield was deemed unsuitable to host the Big Bash League fixture between the Adelaide Strikers and Perth Scorchers. With Traeger Park unable to host the match the fixture has been relocated to Adelaide Oval.

Commenting on the relocation of the match NT Cricket Chair, Dr Bruce Walker AM, said this was an incredibly disappointing situation as the match was to be broadcast to a global television audience, a rare opportunity for Alice Springs to showcase its unique qualities to the world.

“Given the poor condition of the Traeger Park playing surface Cricket Australia had no alternative but to move the match due to it being unsafe for players. With the BBL having such a large broadcast overlay, unfortunately keeping the match in Alice Springs by playing at Albrecht Oval was not an option.

“It is beyond comprehension that Traeger Park is not ready to host this fixture despite an agreement to host the match being signed fifteen months ago by Alice Springs Town Council. The sequence of events leading to this outcome cannot simply be explained as a consequence of the recent hot weather and the failure of grass to grow.

“We acknowledge Council’s recent efforts to improve the surface, but there should have been sufficient time to get the venue ready following the end of the football season.

“We look forward to actively participating in Council’s review into why they weren’t able to ensure that Traeger Park was ready to host this important fixture, and we will be seeking answers on how this situation will be rectified.

The cancelation of the 2019 Big Bash League match in Alice Springs follows the relocation of two Women’s Big Bash League matches from Traeger Park last month and the unavailability of the ground to host Alice Springs Cricket Association matches this season. The poor state of the ground will also impact the 2019 Imparja Cup and National Indigenous Cricket Championships matches in early February.

Image: Traeger Park in better times in May 2017. Dan Himbrechts/AAP