Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Cricket Australia have announced that the Big Bash League (BBL) final will be played at the Manuka Oval in Canberra on January 28.
The board stated that it chose the Manuka Oval for the final since it was a neutral venue.
“We have looked at a number of options for hosting the final of the Big Bash League, given the unique summer of international cricket that lies ahead and the significant demands that will place on venues around the country,” Cricket Australia’s executive general manager of operations, Mike McKenna, said. “That consideration, combined with our efforts to further establish the BBL as a truly national competition, was part of our decision making.
“We think the concept of staging the final in the neutral territory of the nation’s capital has merit. Manuka Oval has undergone significant work in recent times to upgrade facilities for fans. We think it can provide a great backdrop to the biggest match of the tournament while exposing a new market to the excitement of the league.”
For the past three BBL seasons, the final has been held at the WACA in Perth.
Christina Matthews, who is the chief executive officer of the WACA, admitted that she was gutted that the final would not be played at the iconic ground once again.
“Whilst we are disappointed to have not been given the rights to host the final, we are comfortable that, given CA’s desire to hold the final in a neutral venue, they have chosen a truly neutral venue and not another team’s ground,” Matthews said. “With ‘The Furnace’ having hosted the last three finals, it was maybe the only way for CA to have the match played on the other side of the country and it is a credit to WA cricket that they weren’t willing to take the risk for the fourth year in a row.”