In a partnership between Queensland Cricket, the Brisbane North Junior Cricket Association (BNJCA) and local schools, synthetic wickets have been built at Wilston State School, Hercules Road State School and Scarborough State School to meet the need for a growing participation base.

The initial development is part of a ten-year plan to build 40 wickets in Brisbane North, with a further two pitch builds planned for the coming summer.

Along with school cricket programs, teams and competitions, the new pitches will be used by clubs in the BNJCA on weekends, including Wilston Norths Junior Cricket Club, The Lakes Cricket Club and Redcliffe Junior Cricket Club.

The installations were funded one third each by the Australian Cricket Infrastructure Fund (ACIF -Queensland Cricket / Cricket Australia), the host school and the BNJCA. Construction was managed by GABBA Sporting Products, Queensland Cricket’s preferred synthetic wicket supplier.

As a region with a growing population and increased participation numbers, Brisbane North is viewed as a priority area for cricket infrastructure development. The need for 40 more synthetic wickets in Brisbane North / Moreton Bay was identified in the Queensland Cricket Infrastructure Strategy 2018-2028 (QCIS), released in November 2018.

The QCIS is a ten-year outline of immediate, short- and medium-term priority infrastructure projects aimed at improving community cricket facilities and providing greater experiences for grassroots participants. The strategy was launched following a comprehensive audit of community cricket facilities across Queensland, with each council and association in the state asked to contribute.

With Brisbane North recording the highest number of cricket participants in the state and the Brisbane North Junior Cricket Association (BNJCA) the biggest junior cricket association in Queensland for playing numbers, the QCIS found that the region lacked the fields, pitches and lighting required to properly service the ever-growing cricket community.

Queensland Cricket State Infrastructure Manager Paul Leven praised the work being done by the Brisbane North Junior Cricket Association and schools in the region to create a bright future for cricket.

“This is a great outcome for cricket in the Brisbane North region. We know developing new pitches at these schools is going to allow more kids to play the game on guidelines-compliant wickets which hopefully means they will have greater experiences and will want to stay involved in cricket for longer,” Mr Leven said.

“Brisbane North has been clearly identified in the QCIS as a priority region for facility development, so being able start delivering against our strategy in this way is great vindication for the hard work a lot of local people are doing to help grow cricket.

“Congratulations to the schools involved who have been extremely proactive in helping us get these wickets in. We also need to thank the Brisbane North Junior Cricket Association and local clubs for their dedication to growing our game and providing great experiences for junior players.

“This is just stage one of what we see as a project that will have a long-term impact on cricket in the region. We have money to contribute, and we’ll be asking more schools, and especially the Education Department, to get on board.”

The past 12-months has seen more money invested into community cricket infrastructure projects than ever before. Following the launch of the QCIS, 47 projects have received $1.2 million in ACIF funding with an estimated total project value of $10.3 million.

For more information on cricket infrastructure funding, contact Paul Leven at paul.leven@qldcricket.com.au.