The Ashes 2013-14

Alice Springs to host Ashes tour match

ESPNcricinfo staff

May 7, 2013

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An overview of Traeger Park, Alice Springs, November 13, 2000
Traeger Park in Alice Springs has not hosted an international team since 2000 Hamish Blair / © Getty Images
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Series/Tournaments: England tour of Australia
Teams: Australia | England
Grounds: Traeger Park

Alice Springs will host an international cricket team for the first time in 13 years after Cricket Australia announced England would play a tour match there during the 2013-14 Ashes. Traeger Park is set to host a two-day game between England and the Cricket Australia's Chairman's XI on November 29 and 30 after the original venue, Manuka Oval in Canberra, had to withdraw due to scheduled resurfacing work.

The last time an international team played in Alice Springs was when the West Indies side led by Jimmy Adams played a one-day match there against a Northern Territory Cricket Association Invitation XI in November 2000. The England game will take place after the first Ashes Test in Brisbane and before the second Test at Adelaide Oval.

"When we were informed that Canberra could not host this year's Chairman's XI fixture, we wanted to bring the match to an iconic part of Australia," Andrew Ingleton, CA's executive general manager of game and market development, said. "Alice Springs, set against the backdrop of the MacDonnell Ranges, is an iconic part of our great country and an ideal setting for the game."

Matt Conlan, the Northern Territory's minister for sport and recreation, said it was exciting for the territory to be part of the Ashes battle.

"The Ashes is one of the biggest events in Australian sport and for Alice Springs to have a slice of the action in between the first and second Tests of this highly anticipated series is incredibly exciting," he said. "It's been 13 years since Traeger Park hosted an international cricket team and I'm delighted this drought we now be broken in November."

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Posted by   on (May 12, 2013, 3:09 GMT)

As a resident of Alice, here's a few thoughts....based on the variety of comments above. Yes, the oval requires water. So do most ovals Rowan. Yes it will be hot, probably high 30's. Sri Lanka and India might be worried about future tours being abandoned if it's too hot in Alice. Humidity Chris?? You been to Alice? I think you might have been to Darwin (where they also play cricket) Traeger Park - will be a couple of thousand there easily. How many would the game attract in Canberra? I bet there will be more than if the game was at the MCG Ozcricketwriter, the oval is in great nick, up to playing AFL games, regularly passes their very strict requirements. Have you seen the ground? the grandstand alone would fit more than 300. I think they got more than 5000 to the last afl game, capacity of about 10,000. Yes, a 3-4 day game would have been great, but so be it...better than nothing. And finally, let just enjoy it, and it's great for regional Australia. Look on the bright side.

Posted by Green_and_Gold on (May 9, 2013, 8:14 GMT)

@maximum6: Typically it will be a day of bowling and a day of batting. I agree that its not the most ideal prep for big matches however there are still benefits. It gets the oppo used to the different ball used in Aus, helps get them used to the climate and type of pitches, gives some of the fringe members a game, its better practice than nets and in cases like this brings the game to a part of the country that doesnt get much cricket at that level. So there is plenty of good points from it esp if there was no game at all.

Posted by ygkd on (May 8, 2013, 22:15 GMT)

Yes, @maximum6, the real bugbear about these tour games is their length. a proper FC match is four-days, but the scheduling never seems to allow for that these days.

Posted by HatsforBats on (May 8, 2013, 12:24 GMT)

I can't see any problem with the conditions out there; it gets just as hot in every other part of the country, albeit less frequently. Hobart hit 38 degrees this summer! I played a club game in newcastle 2 years back in 46 degrees...that was a bit too hot, but hey, we won. I think. Great to see rural Australia getting some action.

Posted by ygkd on (May 8, 2013, 9:24 GMT)

For goodness sake, cricket is supposed to be a summer game. We're getting soft as a nation if Alice Springs is too hot. Well, it gets hot elsewhere too. The tied Madras Test should be retrospectively expunged from the record books because that was a cooker. Actually, it should be expunged from the record so that we don't have to hear any more about Greg Matthews wearing jumpers to make a point about not being bothered about the Madras weather! Seriously, though, I wonder what Matthews and Dean Jones would say about the negative reactions about all this. It'd probably be something like the sentiments expressed in the first two sentences of this paragraph, if a bit more pithy. Personally, I've long been of the view that Territory Shield teams should be added in Alice and Canberra anyway, as well as scheduling more state games in regional centres for the established six. The AFL's country games in the pre-season comp were a success.

Posted by Chris_P on (May 8, 2013, 4:56 GMT)

It is great for NT cricket. Actually November isn't too bad there having also played there. The heat isn't the problem, it is the humidity, but November (late) might be a little uncomfortable, but certainly not unbearable.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (May 7, 2013, 22:59 GMT)

Can someone possibly inform me what earthly use a two day game is to anyone?? Waste of time.

Posted by peeeeet on (May 7, 2013, 12:27 GMT)

Not a bad move, trying a match in regional areas. Why stop there though? Wouldn't it be great to see some more ODIs moved out to other cities, such as Newcastle, Townsville, Cairns, Canberra, Darwin? I say this because crowds are not necessarily flocking to these matches in the capitals, and I reckon a lot of those cities would pull great crowds for those matches.

Posted by zoot364 on (May 7, 2013, 9:55 GMT)

It was over 40 degrees when I was there at that time of year. As an Englishman, I found that too hot even to be outside let alone run around all day on a cricket field.

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