Reid Oval ready for cricket from January 1

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It’s set to be an especially Happy New Year for the Warrnambool cricket community, with Reid Oval set to be ready for use by January 1.

The $10.7 million redevelopment includes a completely new playing surface with a clay cricket wicket, a modern two-storey pavilion with facilities that cater equally for males and females, a lighting upgrade to allow for games to be played at night and better training facilities, including multi-purpose cricket nets and a training oval to the north-east of the main ground.

Reid Oval Project Group Chair Cr Debbie Arnott said that she was counting down the days to the first cricket match at the state-of-the-art facility.

“The reason we are carrying out this project is because Warrnambool’s sporting community has been united for some time in calling for Reid Oval to become a showcase facility we can all be proud of,” she said.

“And I’m happy that by January, Reid Oval will once again be the jewel in the city’s sporting crown.

“While a firm date was never set, several months ago we had hoped to have the ground ready for the start of the cricket season. 

“Unfortunately the centre of the oval has just been too wet for the clay wicket to be prepared.

“I think we can all agree that the extra weeks we give the wicket to settle in will be absolutely worth it, leading to a surface that’s cherry ripe for a big second half of the cricket season.

“What better way to celebrate the New Year than a cricket match on what will be an exquisite playing surface, with modern facilities to match.”

The Reid Oval Redevelopment is funded by the Victorian Government (via Sport and Recreation Victoria and Regional Development Victoria), the Warrnambool City Council (via the Victorian Government’s Community Sports Infrastructure Loans Scheme), the AFL (via the Australian Football Facilities Fund) and Cricket Victoria (via the Australian Cricket Infrastructure Fund).