Melbourne Stars President Eddie McGuire AM, Member for Eastern Victoria, Harriet Shing MP, Latrobe City Council Mayor, Cr Kellie O'Callaghan and Stars Chief Executive Clint Cooper today confirmed the Stars would play the Hobart Hurricanes in a men’s Big Bash pre-season match under lights in Traralgon on Friday December 15, 2017.
As part of the partnership, the Stars will bring some of the world's best T20 cricketers in Australia to the Latrobe Valley, including the likes of Glenn Maxwell, James Faulkner and Meg Lanning to build help build upon an already strong cricket foundation in the region.
“We are very proud to support the State Government’s initiative to bring major, elite sporting events to the Latrobe Valley and we are especially thrilled to bring all the excitement and entertainment of the Big Bash,” Mr McGuire said.
“Over the next three years we look forward to putting on spectacular events and to presenting some of the best male and female cricketers in the world. We also welcome the opportunity to work with the Latrobe Valley Authority (LVA), Cricket Victoria and the local community to support regional cricket clubs and to develop a range of community and junior participation programs.”
The event is being delivered as part of the Latrobe Valley Sports and Community Initiative - an $85 million investment in sports and community infrastructure, events and associated support programs, announced by the Premier of Victoria, the Hon Daniel Andrews MP in March 2017.
“These major events will support Gippsland’s visitor economy, build pride in our community and showcase the huge range of opportunities available in the region,” Ms Shing said.
“It is one of the ways our government is working with local people and groups towards a vibrant future for the Latrobe Valley.”
Stars Chief Executive Clint Cooper said taking Big Bash to regional areas was integral to the continued growth of the game and was looking forward to showcasing both the highest level of T20 but also the fan entertainment experience that comes with the Big Bash.
“We are very excited to be able to bring the Melbourne Stars Big Bash experience to the Latrobe Valley. Our players will relish the opportunity to showcase their skills in front of a massive crowd in Traralgon later in the year,” Cooper said.
“Cricket is such an important social connector for all, particularly in the Latrobe Valley and we are proud to be part of this terrific initiative.”
Latrobe City Council Mayor, Cr Kellie O'Callaghan said that it was exciting to be welcoming the Big Bash to the area.
“We’re all looking forward to December 15 and can’t wait to have the Stars in town. It’s a great opportunity for the region to connect with an elite cricket team. Sport brings social cohesion, so this will bring the community together for a great event,” Cr O'Callaghan said.
Stars duo Rob Quiney and Seb Gotch were also on hand to welcome the new partnership, saying it provided the team with the chance to give back to regional communities.
“We have fans from all over Victoria who come to watch us play at the MCG. This partnership gives us an amazing opportunity to visit our fans in their own backyard whilst preparing for the season ahead under excellent conditions,” Quiney said.
“As elite athletes, it’s important for us to lead by example in promoting a healthy lifestyle and encouraging children to play cricket. Hopefully we can do that while we are in town and give back to the wider Latrobe Valley community that supports us.”
In addition to the pre-season match, the Stars will also deliver a range of community engagement activities with schools and local cricket clubs throughout the greater Latrobe Valley region to promote the benefits of physical activity, health and wellbeing as well as encouraging the next generation of cricketers and fans.
Further details on the Stars’ practice match against the Hobart Hurricanes with be announced in due course.