CRICKET will return to the Queen Elizabeth Oval for the first time this season when Huntly-North Epsom takes on Eaglehawk this weekend.
The first and third XI games between the Power and Hawks in the Bendigo District Cricket Association will be a precursor to the Victorian Premier Cricket Bush Bash Twenty20 matches that will be played at the QEO the following weekend, with preparation on the wickets being led by the City of Greater Bendigo’s parks staff
“It hasn’t been a great season for couch grass because it has still been fairly mild,” City of Greater Bendigo team leader sports fields Roger Barbetti said yesterday.
“We didn’t re-turf the wicket table like some clubs do, and we’ve done in the past, because there was enough couch that we saved during the footy season.
“The wicket table has got a really good spread of couch grass in it and is recovering every day. We’re pleased with how the preparation of the wicket is coming along.
“Our intention this weekend is to have two wickets prepared, one for the thirds and one for the firsts.
“Part of the intention of that is to get a Saturday-Sunday match in on those two wickets, which will be the ones we use for the Bush Bash Twenty20 games the following weekend.
“Hopefully, the wickets will play well this weekend and will come up nicely for the Twenty20 games the week after.”
Barbetti is also pleased with the condition of the QEO’s outfield.
“The outfield is really good. We’ve treated all the winter grasses, which has meant there has been that transition period of discolouration, but it’s coming back strongly now and that will get better as the weeks go on,” Barbetti said.
“It will be a good, quick outfield and a good one to field on because it’s such a smooth and even surface.
“So with the outfield and the good, flat decks, we’re hoping we have a facility there that will allow for a good standard of cricket for our guys here in Bendigo and our visitors the following week.”
The Victorian Premier Cricket Bush Bash will be played at the QEO on Saturday, November 24, from 10am featuring Carlton, Melbourne Uni and St Kilda.
10am: Carlton v Melbourne Uni.
2pm: St Kilda v Carlton.
7pm: Melbourne Uni v St Kilda.