Tasmania's Test cricket future is in the hands of the fans, says Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania boss Luke Martin.
Cricket Australia will announce its summer schedule next week with the first-ever clash between Australia and Afghanistan in November set to end Hobart's five-year exile from the Test stage.
Just 15,343 attended across three days when Australia and South Africa met at Bellerive Oval in 2016 - a turnout that can't be repeated if Tasmania hopes to secure another Test match in the coming years.
Martin said while sporting crowds had suffered nationally in the wake of COVID, Tasmanian fans would be masters of their own destiny.
"I think it's people getting confident getting out and about again and knowing the processes but no excuse - we need to show up and support it," Martin said.
"We can't whinge about being left off the calendar and not support the Test.
"I think it's a patriotic duty for [national captain] Tim Paine and the cause of Test match cricket in Tasmania that we show up."
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Since Australia co-hosted the 2015 ODI World Cup, just four games (two Tests, one ODI and one T20) have been played in Tasmania, with last year's ODI clash against New Zealand rained off.
"The reality is we shouldn't expect it [international cricket] any more," Martin said.
"Other destinations like Canberra and the [Northern Territory], far north Queensland and the Gold Coast have great facilities now, they too want to get more international cricket so again, we've got this opportunity to really send a message.
"With the Test matches, we don't often get a lot of interstate visitors but the brand power of having a Test match at [Bellerive Oval] and the the views and the imagery that's beamed across Australia and across the globe is really worth its weight.
"The challenge, unashamedly, for Tasmanians is to make sure it's not another five years or longer until we next get one and the best way we can do that is to show up en masse."
Australia's Test summer - which includes the next Ashes - is set to be announced next week. The schedule is likely to be:— FlashScore.com.au (@FlashScoreAU) May 12, 2021
v Afghanistan - TBD (late Nov), Hobart
v England - Dec 9, Brisbane
v 🏴 - Dec 17, Adelaide
v 🏴 - Dec 26, Melbourne
v 🏴 - Jan 5, Sydney
v 🏴 - Jan 14, Perth pic.twitter.com/mRNODmjER8
The face of the Australian team after leading the rebuild from Sandpapergate, Paine has regularly spoken of his hope to skipper the national side in his home state.
November's clash with the Test newcomers will likely mark the 36-year-old's final chance to do so despite continued good form at the highest level.
Cricket Tasmania's Tim Lovibond said news of any international cricket in the state would be warmly welcomed.
"It's no secret that Cricket Tasmania want to see Test cricket return to Blundstone Arena, and we'll continue to work with Cricket Australia and the Tasmanian government on delivering international content," Lovibond said.
"The opportunity for Tim Paine to captain the Australian Test side on home soil is absolutely front of mind.
"We read a lot about inspiring the next generation to play sport in this state and I challenge anyone to present a more compelling example."
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