Cricket ACT boss James Allsopp says women's cricket worth investment

Cricket ACT chief executive James Allsopp. Picture: Jamila Toderas
Cricket ACT chief executive James Allsopp. Picture: Jamila Toderas

A bumper summer of women's cricket for Canberra will get under way this week in what looms as a chance for the best in the world to show women's sport is worth investing in.

It looms as a chance for the cricket community to make a statement in numbers amid the growth of women's sport after the ACT government brushed a bid for the 2023 FIFA World Cup.

The government's decision to invest elsewhere means Canberra will not be one of the host cities should the FFA earn hosting rights for the showpiece event.

Now good crowds for international cricket in Canberra could be the final stamp of approval for a six-year deal between the government and Cricket Australia to host elite content in the capital.

Manuka Oval will host five women's Twenty20 World Cup fixtures in February featuring the likes of defending champions Australia, England and South Africa.

The government opted to invest in the women's tournament instead of men's World Cup games later in 2020, partly due to costs.

The World Cup rounds out a huge season of cricket in Canberra featuring eight Twenty20 internationals.

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Fans will get a taste of what is to come when the Sydney Thunder host the Melbourne Stars in a WBBL clash at Manuka Oval on Wednesday.

"Canberra has become a real home for women's cricket," Allsopp said.

"Manuka Oval is such a good venue for it, it's such a good wicket and a fast outfield.

"It's a really enjoyable place for women's teams to come and play, I know the Thunder and the Australian team love coming here.

"The government have obviously put a huge investment into women's cricket with the World Cup."

Costs believed to be in the millions and scheduling issues were stumbling blocks which saw ACT supremos withdraw support of the soccer World Cup bid.

The move was labelled "disrespectful" by Canberra United coach and Matildas great Heather Garriock.

It presents a golden opportunity for cricket and it all begins with a homecoming for a handful of ACT Meteors - although they will be turning out for the away team.

"I'd like to see more Big Bash here in years to come. It would be great to see some of the Meteors girls playing for the Thunder in the future," Allsopp said.

"It's kind of ironic, in this game on Wednesday night there are four or five Meteors girls that play for the Stars and none in the Thunder. We're really keen to support the Thunder."

This story Women's cricket worth investment, says ACT boss Allsopp first appeared on The Canberra Times.