The Sheffield Shield game between the my FootDr Queensland Bulls and the West End Redbacks from South Australia will be held at Cazalys Stadium from Sunday 3 December through to Wednesday 6 December.
Cairns will join Mackay (2015) and Townsville (2016) as the only venues outside of metropolitan Brisbane to host games in the Sheffield Shield, the domestic first class competition in Australia.
Cazalys Stadium last hosted official first class cricket more than a decade ago, although was the venue of a three-day warm-up game for Pakistan ahead of the first day/night Test at the Gabba last season.
Cazalys successfully staged two Test matches during the 2000s and last hosted the Bulls in 2008 for a domestic one-day match.
Queensland Cricket General Manager – High Performance Brett Jones and current Bulls allrounder Ben Cutting attended today’s announcement at Cazalys along with Cairns Regional Council Mayor Bob Manning OAM.
Jones welcomed the return of first class cricket to Cairns and congratulated the Cairns Regional Council, Cricket Far North and AFL Cairns for their strong support of the proposal.
“Queensland Cricket has consistently worked with government at all levels as well as local cricket and other stakeholders to establish appropriate cricket venues around the State,’’ he said.
“We’re very pleased to partner with the Cairns Regional Council and thank them for backing this event and enabling us to bring the Bulls and Redbacks here to play a first class game.”
“Regional opportunities are an increasingly important way for us to grow the game and to inspire future generations of players and fans,’’ Jones said.
“Cazalys is an outstanding facility – its wicket block has been likened to the Gabba and we expect it to provide an excellent contest between bat and ball when Queensland take on South Australia.
“Queensland Cricket will certainly continue to support, and work with, our major regional venues for future cricketing content,” he said.
The match will be free.
Cairns Mayor Bob Manning said Cairns gladly welcomed the return of top-class cricket to the region.
“This will be a great opportunity for locals to see first class sporting action once again in Cairns,” Cr Manning said. “Our city is fast becoming the home of world class sporting action in the north, and this match just adds to our growing reputation on the annual events calendar.
“Cairns is perfectly positioned to welcome another fantastic sporting event and all the visitors it will bring with it, especially during this quieter time of year. We look forward to showcasing our region and all the wonderful natural attractions we have on offer.
The Bulls will finalise and announce their squad for the 2017-18 summer shortly.