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Launch of Cricket ACT's Centenary Season, Government House


This is Ngunnawal Country. Today we are all meeting together on this Ngunnawal Country. We acknowledge and pay our respects to the Elders.Welcome, all, to Government House.

It is an absolute delight to have this group here for what is both a significant and historical occasion.

Significant because it is the launch of a new season.

Historical because it is the Centenary Season. An opportunity to doff the bat to the crowd but also to look forward and keep piling on the runs!

The combination of those two elements represents a wonderful opportunity for Cricket ACT to build on the rich history of the game in the nation’s capital and to increase its contribution to Australian cricket at all levels.

Conditions are perfect to further the game in the ACT.

Our population is growing and so is participation — a 200 per cent increase in girls and women’s cricket alone speaks to a bright future.

The game is incredibly diverse and brings together people from all backgrounds. I believe in the power of sport to unite and, whether it is a social match on the weekend, grade or international, cricket is a terrific example.

Cricket ACT is looking after its players, whether it is someone’s first go at the game or they’re a high performer.

It is a real community, and I commend all involved in Cricket ACT for bringing people together, supporting everyone from the grass roots up and building the infrastructure for even more success in the future.

Canberra has proven itself as a cricket venue and destination of note on the domestic and international stage time and time again.

All in the audience here this morning know the exhilaration of watching a big game from the stands at Manuka Oval. There is nothing like it.

To that end, I am delighted to learn that Cricket ACT is currently working with its Sheffield Shield colleagues and Cricket Australia with the aim of the Territory becoming the 7th First-Class Shield team in the next few years and joining the Meteors in the elite tier of domestic cricket.

What a legacy for future generations of cricket fans.

A Men’s First-Class team in the ACT would be the icing on the cake and complete Cricket ACT’s pathway to the top — from entry-level programs to representing this important region on the national stage.

For any young girl or boy who hopes to one day wear the baggy green, the pathway will be here in Canberra.

My thanks to all involved in Cricket ACT — the board, the members, the sponsors and supporters, and of course the fans.

There is much to look forward to in this Centenary Season and in the years ahead.

The efforts of all involved in Cricket ACT again demonstrate the power of sport to unite and to bring people together.