Pitch for cricket at Aurora

RICKY Ponting and George Bailey's manager James Henderson says Launceston's Aurora Stadium is the ideal venue to host elite-level cricket.

There is a petition circulating for Cricket Australia, the Launceston City Council and state government to give Launceston its own Big Bash League team and play international matches at the venue.

Bass Liberal MHA Peter Gutwein said yesterday that his party would hand the Launceston City Council $30,000 to develop a business case into the viability of a Launceston domestic Twenty20 side, if it is successful in March's state election.

Henderson said that businessmen at the Ponting tribute match last month thought the atmosphere at Aurora Stadium was similar to that created at The Oval in London.

The tribute match attracted 17,771 fans - the highest recorded crowd figure for any cricket match in Tasmania.

``I believe a business case would support a BBL team based in Launceston.

``If you can put 14,000 into Aurora for a Big Bash game, the numbers will stack up. 

``Imagine Ricky Ponting coaching that team or George finishing his career captaining a Launceston Big Bash team.''

Northern Tasmania has produced many talented cricketers such as Ponting, Bailey, David Boon, Ben Hilfenhaus, Xavier Doherty and Alex Doolan - who is likely to make his test debut it South Africa.

Henderson said the North continued to produce above-quality players and that Tasmania could easily support two BBL teams.

Launceston resident Kyle Barrett is running a petition and aimed at making it a reality.

Mayor Albert van Zetten said there would be a detailed study that worked with the cricket and business community.

He said Cricket Tasmania initially approached council about possibly playing BBL matches at Aurora Stadium if the Hobart Hurricanes were to play more than four home games.

NTCA president Peter Griffin said as part of the big picture, NTCA cricket should be considered for the stadium as well.


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