Plans have been unveiled for the redevelopment of a St. Kilda’s landmark, Junction Oval, in Melbourne’s Albert Park, presenting a second International Cricket Council-compliant first-class ground for Melbourne, and ensuring cricket and AFL no longer clash at the MCG at the beginning of the AFL season.
The Victorian Government is to contribute AUD$25m to the development that will become the new site of Cricket Victoria’s administration and training facilities, a venue for the Victorian Bushrangers, including women’s facilities for Victorian Spirit, and state-of-the-art medical and rehabilitation areas.
The MCG has been Victoria’s only first-class venue for the past few seasons but, when complete, the purpose-built, cricket-only venue, to be known as the Victorian Cricket and Community Centre, will become a year-round training, match and development site for cricket in Victoria.
Cricket Victoria Chief Executive, Tony Dodemaide, said that while domestic matches would be shared between the MCG and the Junction Oval in future, the ground would also be up to international standard. He added:
It certainly has the capacity for international tournaments that come to Australia in future, perhaps in ICC T20 competition, which requires a suite of facilities.
Not all games need … a large stadium of 100,000-capacity like the MCG. This will provide a boutique facility that complements tournaments like that.
Cox Architecture has been appointed to lead the project, with works to commence by the end of the year.
The project is also being funded in partnership with Cricket Victoria and Cricket Australia.
Some 327,000 Victorians play cricket, while the Bushrangers have won the Sheffield Shield 29 times.
The project is expected to be complete before the start of the 2017/18 season.
Image: An artist’s impression of how the Junction Oval will look after its redevelopment. Courtesy Cricket Victoria.
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