July 3, 2005

World's best One-Day cricketers set to hit Melbourne

Sports-mad Victorians will be thrilled with the selection of some of the world's biggest names in cricket for the inaugural One-Day Super Series to be played at the Telstra Dome in October, the Minister for Tourism and Major Projects, John Pandazopoulos said today.

Mr Pandazopoulos said Melbourne had beaten India and South Africa, earlier this year, for the right to host the Johnnie Walker Super Series on the 5, 7 and 9th of October.

The new competition sees current world one-day champions Australia take on a team of the finest one-day cricketers from around the world in a three match series.

"These one-day matches are a huge boost to Melbourne's major events calendar," Mr Pandazopoulos said.

"Cricket fans will not want to miss this opportunity to see Australia, at the top of their game, take on the best from the rest of the world.

"Melbourne is already recognised as the sporting events capital of Australia and the Johnnie Walker Super Series is yet another feather in our cap."

Mr Pandazopoulos said an influx of cricket fans from Australia and around the world would be a huge boost to Victorian tourism and he encouraged fans to book travel and accommodation early.

Mr Pandazopoulos said the weekend of 7-9 October allowed sports lovers to attend the series at Telstra Dome on the Friday and Sunday, and the Carlton Draught Caulfield Guineas on the Saturday.

"The Johnnie Walker Super Series follows the AFL Grand Final series and the start of the Spring Racing Carnival, providing international and interstate visitors the opportunity to see three world class sporting events," Mr Pandazopoulos said.

"The Series will be broadcast across the world, showcasing Victoria internationally in the lead-up to the Commonwealth Games in March 2006.

"The Series is expected to generate around $3.5 million in economic benefits for Victoria.

"The Bracks Government has worked closely with the ICC and Cricket Australia to secure this fantastic event, including funding to assist with staging the series."