Justin Langer loves Manuka Oval and if the Australia coach had his way it would become a permanent part of the international cricketing landscape.
But discussions are ongoing between Cricket Australia and the ACT government on a new deal to keep elite cricket in the capital.
They’re looking at a six-year deal with the Sydney Thunder for Big Bash League games at Manuka and a four-year deal for international fixtures.
Cricket ACT chief executive James Allsopp was hopeful a deal would be finalised before one of the remaining big games in Canberra – potentially the upcoming WBBL or BBL games in the next six weeks.
Langer was full of praise for everything about Manuka – the surface, the pitch, the stadium – all except the cold weather, which the West Australian wasn’t a fan of.
He felt the batsman-friendly pitch played a role in Steve Smith’s brilliant 80 not out off 51 balls.
Langer was also adamant more internationals should come Canberra’s way.
“Yeah, where we can. It’s just a brilliant stadium. It’s just beautiful. You walk out and it’s like carpet,” he said.
“The wicket’s always good. It’s a beautiful venue. It’s a bit cold. Every who knows me knows I don’t like the cold very much.
“But overall it’s a great place. We love coming to play here. We loved the Test match last year.”
“Negotiations are continuing and I’m hoping during one of the big games this summer we can actually announce a longer term deal,” Allsopp said.
“I think [Tuesday] night and all the comments Justin made are a real showcase for why it’s so beneficial to come to Canberra with such great conditions and arguably the best boutique stadium in Australia.
“If there was any doubt whether there should be elite cricket played in Canberra on a long-term basis I think that was dispelled [Tuesday] night.”
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