Redeveloped Junction Oval 'the best facility in Australia' | Cricket Australia

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Redeveloped Junction Oval 'the best facility in Australia'

March 07, 2018

The redeveloped Junction Oval and Victorian Cricket and Community Centre // Getty

By Dylan Carmody

Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland has praised the newly renovated Junction Oval as “the best cricket facility in the country”, stating his wish that every other state could follow in Victoria’s footsteps.

Mr Sutherland, who attended the opening of the $40 million Victorian Cricket and Community Centre at the refurbished Junction Oval on Saturday, said the improvements made to the Oval will help set up Victorian and Australian cricket for years to come.

“It is a key symbol of our national strategy to ensure that our players, volunteers and fans have access to the best quality facilities,” Mr Sutherland said.

"This will be a great asset for Australian cricket. Whilst the Oval will play host to many domestic and international cricket fixtures, including matches in the ICC Women’s World T20 in 2020, this facility is so much more than a cricket ground.”

“We can only wish that every state and territory had a facility like this.”

The Junction Oval was established in 1856, serving as the home of the St Kilda Cricket Club and occasionally playing host to state matches around the availability of the MCG.

However, the ground and surrounding complex has reached new heights due to state government pledging $25 million in 2014 to redevelop the ground as the administrative and training headquarters of Cricket Victoria, with an extra $10 million pledged by Cricket Australia and Cricket Victoria.

“We’ve just opened what is now the best cricket facility in the country and no doubt the envy of every other state in the country as well,” Mr Sutherland told ABC Grandstand on Saturday morning.

“Very clearly our ambitions are about being a sport for all, and creating greater access for Victorians, in this case to love cricket.

“This facility is going to stand the test of time over decades, bringing more people to the game, which we’re really excited about.”

Now called the Victorian Cricket and Community Centre, the facility boasts a 10-lane indoor centre with full performance analysis technology, two outdoor practice wicket facilities incorporating 56 lanes, and an indoor aquatic centre and gym.

The ground itself has been expanded with the playing surface meeting full ICC standards, whilst the historic Blackie-Ironmonger Stand has been refurbished including new change rooms for the St Kilda Cricket Club and community use.

For the first time since the 2008-09 JLT Sheffield Shield Final, the venue hosted a Shield match from Saturday to Tuesday as the Victoria Bushrangers won a thriller against the NSW Blues.