HOSTING the 2015 Australian Country Cricket Championships is another stepping stone to bigger events, according to Bendigo District Cricket Association president Wayne Walsh.
Cricket Australia announced on Thursday that Bendigo would host regional Australia’s premier cricketers from January 5-12 next year.
The event comes hot on the heels of Bendigo successfully staging the 12-and-under national cricket championships last January.
“It’s a great coup for Bendigo to host this event,’’ Mr Walsh said.
“We showed last summer with the national under-12 championships that we are capable of hosting major cricket events.
“This is a stepping stone for Bendigo to work with Cricket Victoria and attract some even bigger cricket events down the track.”
Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia, Queensland, Western Australia and a representative team from East Asia Pacific, which is made up of Fiji, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea, will compete in the Australian Country Championships.
City of Greater Bendigo mayor Barry Lyons said the tournament added to a long list of major sporting events to hit Bendigo in recent years.
“The City is working hard to attract sporting and other major events to our region,” Cr Lyons said.
“We have got terrific facilities and infrastructure and we are definitely getting the runs on the board and forming excellent working relationships with major Australian sporting organisations such as Cricket Australia, which we hope will bring even more opportunities in the future.
“This is expected to have a significant economic impact on our local economy and is also a fantastic opportunity for our own residents to watch the best country cricketers from around our nation right here in their own backyard.
“We are looking forward to this wonderful opportunity to showcase Bendigo to Australia’s best country cricketers.”