On Friday, the new regional cricket facilities were opened at Bill Rose Sports Complex.
The almost $400,000 project replaces the old MacCallum nets high quality 6-wicket facilities to meet current standards including a fully enclosed synthetic surface, retractable safety netting, and appropriate marking for all junior competitions.
The previous cricket nets and Shepherd Oval pitch were overdue for upgrades and the new six wicket cricket nets and replacement pitch have been welcomed by the user groups.
The region now has a high-quality regional cricket facility to meet the needs of local junior and senior competitions and requirements of Cricket NSW and Upper Hunter Shire Council says its expected to bring 4,000 cricket players a year to play many from outside the Upper Hunter Shire.
Between the Upper Hunter District Cricket Association and Upper Hunter District Junior Cricket Association, they have over 420 registered players, and other cricket groups such as Hunter Valley, Central North and local school competitions are interested in using the upgraded facilities. The facilities should attract representative games to the
region such as Country Cup, Regional Big Bash and junior carnivals, with one already being planned for 2020.
Upper Hunter MP Michael Johnsen said that the newly completed facility will now be in position to become a local training hub in the region, as well as host competitions for the Hunter Valley, Central North and Cricket NSW.
“As a local resident and fan of the sport, I am thrilled the Nationals in Government have been able to deliver this and to partner with our Upper Hunter Shire Council in delivering these new nets and pitches to support our great local club,” Michael Johnsen said.
Upper Hunter Shire Mayor Maurice Collison thanked the NSW Government for the contribution to the project in addition to a number of other contributors for creating a fantastic facility for those who love cricket in the Shire and beyond.
"Very very proud, I was just talking to one of the NSW cricket gentlemen and he said its most likely one of the best in the state in the country when it comes to cricket nets so very proud its a part of Upper Hunter Shire Council,"
"What better facility to come down to, you don't have to chase the ball, someones got the beautiful drive going, you can really let loose on all of your shots, no excuses so its a great thing to have in the Shire."
Total project budget was $395,000, which included funding from:
- $172,500 secured through Community Infrastructure Grants, NSW Government
- $162,500 contributed by Upper Hunter Shire Council
- $50,000 contributed by Cricket NSW
- $5,000 contributed by Upper Hunter District Cricket Association
- $5,000 contributed by Upper Hunter District Junior Cricket
Image credit: Grant Broadcasters/Andrew Reynolds