CRICKET is poised to take a big step forward at Brighton with the local team, the Brighton Eagles, applying to join the Cricket Tasmania Premier League competition and Brighton Council unveiling exciting plans for a new sporting complex at Pontville.
Mayor Tony Foster and general manager Ron Sanderson met recently with Cricket Tasmania Chief Executive Nick Cummins to support the Eagles application and also to brief the State cricket body on the development plans for the new sports complex at Pontville.
Cr Foster said the quality of the playing surface at Pontville was well recognised, with the Hobart Hurricanes, Tasmanian Tigers and Tasmanian Roar regularly using it for match practice. As well, Premier League and national underage competitions were played at the grounds through summer.
“Council’s focus is very much in keeping with our desire to see top -level cricket played in Brighton and for our local club, the Brighton Eagles to play in the Premier League, providing opportunities for our young men and women to advance and even play for the Hurricanes, Roar and Tigers one day,” Cr Foster said.
“Brighton Council has been talking to Cricket Tasmania for several years about Brighton joining the Premier League and the Eagles have made a submission which is now being positively considered.
“We are very supportive of the local club. We are already well advanced with facilities and have exciting plans for a major $3 million Pontville Sports Complex comprising change rooms, viewing area, club room and associated facilities, catering for both male and female players.
“We’ve completed the design work and preliminary costings and it’s now dependent on funding, as well as the Brighton Eagles receiving the green light from Cricket Tasmania.
“Our proposal is for this to be funded jointly by Council, the State and Federal Governments and cricket, and the response to date has been very positive.”
Cr Foster said the Brighton municipality and surrounding districts contained a potentially large male and female cricket participation base.
“Brighton is one of Tasmania’s fastest growing areas and we have a young population that is looking to participate in sporting activities. Cricket needs to tap into this.
“As well as the Eagles, the nearby Old Beach Cricket Club has one of the largest memberships of any club in the State, so there’ll be no shortage of players.
“Brighton Eagles intend to field men’s, women’s, boys’ and girls’ teams in the Premier League, meeting the requirements of Cricket Tasmania to participate in the current eight-team competition.
“Previously, the prospect of a nine-team Premier League competition and a bye has been a stumbling block, but Nick Cummins did not seem overly concerned with this prospect, Cr Foster said.
“He is already considering including a team from the north of the State in the Premier League and he indicated each application would be considered on its merits.
“Cricket Tasmania already recognises the quality of our grounds and we are confident that Brighton can provide the players, resources and facilities to further advance the sport of cricket in our municipality,” Cr Foster said.