All-rounders to be rewarded in 2002-03 ING Cup
The country's best all-rounders have the chance to pocket a $5000 investment account this year, as part of a new award introduced for the 2002-03 ING Cup competition.
Players who score more than 250 runs and claim over 10 wickets for the season qualify for the ING Cup Best All-Rounder award.
Australian Cricket Board (ACB) Chief Executive Officer James Sutherland said the ING Cup Best All-Rounder initiative provided an opportunity to showcase an exciting element of the game.
"Since the ING Cup's inception, several promotions have been tailored to either batsman or bowlers, but the competition has not highlighted those special players with all-round abilities," Mr Sutherland said.
"Australia has produced several fine all-rounders over time and this year, the ING Cup may well discover yet another player who is as equally damaging with the bat as he is with the ball.
"The ING Cup Best All-Rounder award also ensures that there is plenty for the spectators and players to get excited about this summer," he said.
The popular Fastest Fifty and Hit the Sign promotions continue this season.
The Fastest Fifty promotion rewards the player who scores fifty runs from the least number of deliveries, while the Hit the Sign prize will see any batsman that hits one of eight ING target signs positioned around the boundary claim $50,000.
If a sign is hit more than once during the course of a match, the amount will remain at $50,000 per hit.
Last season's leading ING Cup run-scorer, Western Australian Michael Hussey, was the last player to hit the sign. He managed the difficult feat against the New South Wales Blues at the WACA ground in February 2002, and ended a New South Wales domination of the award.
Steve Waugh claimed the prize in 1995-96 when he hit the sign against the Western Warriors at the WACA ground in Perth, Shane Lee collected the money for his accurate blow against the Canberra Comets at Manuka Oval in 1998-99, and Brad Haddin inflicted another strike against the Western Warriors at the WACA ground to pick up a cheque in 1999-2000.
Spectators will also have the chance to share in the action through the popular Catch the Six and Catch the Six Trump Player competitions at matches during the summer.
For Channel Nine televised matches, the Catch the Six promotion rewards any spectator who catches a six, with a cash jackpot for that match. The jackpot starts at $100 and increases by $100 for each match that follows if a catch is not taken. The maximum prize is $1000. For non televised matches, any spectator who catches a six will collect $100 (no jackpot).
Complementing this offer is the Catch the Six Trump Player. At the coin toss before each match, the two captains will nominate their "Trump Player" and if a spectator catches a six hit by that batsman, then he or she will collect $1000. The Catch the Six Trump Player promotion only applies to Channel Nine televised matches.
The 2002-03 ING Cup season will also see matches played at a range of venues across the nation.
The New South Wales Blues play at Telstra Stadium and Drummoyne Oval in Sydney, and Coffs Harbour on the state's north coast.
Ricky Ponting's Tasmanian Tigers will extend their home base beyond Hobart's Bellerive Oval by playing matches in Devonport and Launceston.
The Victorian Bushrangers meanwhile, will travel to Ballarat for an Australian Day clash with the Queensland Bulls.
Mr Sutherland said the ING Cup program continues to play an important role for the future of the Australian game.
"Australia's domestic competitions exhibit an extremely high standard of competition and play vital roles as nurseries for Australian Test and one-day international cricket," Mr Sutherland said.
"And with this season's domestic schedule seeing matches staged at a number of non-traditional venues, ING Cup cricket will be taken to a wider audience around the country."