Festival of Cricket abandoned
LISMORE City Council has abandoned any hope of holding the troubled Festival of Cricket this season after it was unable to lock down three teams to contest the event.
Tasmania was the only State side that confirmed its commitment to the tournament, which was used last year as warm-up matches for the Twenty20 Champions League in India.
NSW, Victoria and Tasmania contested the event in Lismore before NSW went on to claim the 2009 Champions League and a whopping $6 million prize purse.
Unfortunately, the prize was a little less spectacular for the council, which was left with a $168,000 debt after the expected crowds failed to materialise.
Council events co-ordinator John Bancroft said a similar tournament set up in Darwin had snared South Australia and Victoria, which are the two teams that will contest the Champions League this year.
The council had proposed to run a streamlined shorter festival this year with teams contributing to the cost of the event.
“I'm disappointed because it is a good event, but obviously it was too expensive in that extended format,” Mr Bancroft said.
He said that the council would look at holding the festival again in the future, but would now focus on securing some high profile amateur and junior sports events.