Cricket ACT are ready to swing in to action should Cricket Australia come knocking about the prospect of fielding a Big Bash League team in the nation’s capital.
Speaking at the announcement of the Prime Ministers XI fixture for the 2015/16 season, Cricket ACT Chairman Ian McNamee said that they would jump at the chance to field a BBL team.
“The Big Bash is under consideration over the next year or two as to what’s happening,” said McNamee.
“If ever we get that tap on the shoulder, we are ready to move if in fact we are one of the areas offered a chance to participate in the Big Bash.”
Starved of a presence in the top-flight of men’s domestic cricket since 2000, there is no doubt that Canberra cricket tragics would flock to Manuka Oval to support an ACT-based team.
Only one Big Bash League game has been held in Canberra, that being the 2014/15 Final between the Sydney Sixers and Perth Scorchers.
The script could not have been written any better, with Perth claiming the win on the very last ball in front of 11,837 fans to win back-to-back titles.
With one game in the record books, McNamee is thirsting for more Twenty20 action at Manuka Oval.
“We are endeavouring to get a trial game here with the Sydney Thunder. That’s one thing that we’ve looked at that may happen.”
There is an increasing number of current and former Comets trading the blue and gold of the ACT for Big Bash colours.
Former Comets duo Brad Haddin and Nathan Lyon don magenta of the Sydney Sixers, former ACT quick Jason Behrendorff pulls on the orange of the Perth Scorchers, whilst current Comet Jono Dean turns out in the blue of the Adelaide Strikers.
They are not the only current and former Comets that have played under the bright lights of the BBL, with Ryan Carters, Jason Floros, Nick Winter also Blake Dean turning out in the opening four seasons of the competition.
The Prime Ministers XI fixture, to be held on October 23 against the BLACK CAPS, has in the past been used as a platform for ACT players to shine.
Behrendorff turned out in 2009 as a fiery young fast-bowler, and produced very economical figures. Jono Dean blasted a half century off just 35 balls against the West Indies in 2013.
But the most interesting story would have to be that of another Canberra player that got an opportunity in the 2009 Prime Ministers XI match against New Zealand, as McNamee fondly recalls.
“[Brendon] McCullum didn’t keep wicket. We had a young man called Ryan Carters, who was an ACT player that actually filled in because McCullum couldn’t. So we had an ACT player keeping for New Zealand!”
Strong performances from the Comets can only help Canberra’s chances of seeing a team running on to the field in the BBL, or the domestic List-A and First Class competitions.
“The Comets are all fired up. I hear there are new players coming to Canberra that want to play in the Futures League, so that’s looking promising as well too,” McNamee said.
“So as well as the international scene, we have our own local representative scene looking very promising as well.”
ARTICLE WRITTEN FOR YABBA: http://www.yabba.guru/act-ready-if-big-bash-league-comes-knocking/