The Valley Smash will be staged under lights at Traralgon Recreation Reserve on Friday 15 December from 6.30pm and will bring all the excitement and frenetic pace of the Big Bash.
The clash will feature some of the world’s premier T20 cricketers and Melbourne Stars, such as James Faulkner, Ben Dunk and John Hastings. Fans are urged to get in early for the Valley’s hottest tickets of the summer, with these available from today here.
Latrobe Valley Authority Chief Executive Officer Karen Cain said it was fantastic a game of this calibre was coming to Gippsland, a passionate regional cricket centre.
“This event is one of several events the Victorian Government is supporting to come to the Latrobe Valley. Not only will it boost our economy by bringing visitors to the region, it will give cricket a real lift in Gippsland and help to inspire the next generation of players and fans to get involved in sport, both on and off the field,” Ms Cain said.
Hastings, the new Stars captain, joined coach Stephen Fleming at the announcement today and said the event was a great opportunity to give back to the wider Latrobe Valley community.
“We get terrific support from our fans throughout Victoria,” Hastings said.
“But importantly, this clash will also give our guys the chance to gel in a competitive environment and help set us up from a playing point of view for the opening rounds of the competition. The Valley Smash will be crucial in terms of getting all the players together and firing, and will mean we can hit the Big Bash at full pace.”
Melbourne Stars Chief Executive Clint Cooper said his team was looking forward to the match.
“There’s huge support for the Big Bash throughout the entire Latrobe Valley, and our guys can’t wait to take on the Hurricanes in our last hit out before the tournament begins and help promote cricket throughout the whole region,” he said.
“Beyond this inaugural match, we’re looking forward to working with the Latrobe Valley Authority (LVA), Latrobe City Council, Cricket Victoria and the local community to support regional cricket clubs and a range of community and junior participation programs.”
Latrobe City mayor Councillor Kellie O’Callaghan said the event promised to be an exciting and entertaining opportunity for the community.
“It will feature some of T20’s premier athletes, who I know will be keen to put on a good show, get around the fans and help generate some positive momentum ahead of the BBL season,” Cr O’Callaghan said.
“Cricket’s a great way to bring communities together and we’re proud to be partners in this wonderful initiative.”
In addition to the pre-season match, the Stars will deliver a range of community engagement activities with schools and local cricket clubs in the region to build capacity, promote the benefits of physical activity, health and wellbeing, as well as encouraging the next generation of cricketers and fans.