NSW’s Steve Smith stretches to make his ground as Victorian wicket-keeper Ryan Carter makes an appeal during the Festival of Cricket in Lismore in September, an event the council wants to hold again.
NSW’s Steve Smith stretches to make his ground as Victorian wicket-keeper Ryan Carter makes an appeal during the Festival of Cricket in Lismore in September, an event the council wants to hold again. David Neilsen

Do Festival of Cricket better

LISMORE City Council’s plan to bid to host another Festival of Cricket in 2010 has received support from long-time local cricket identities.

The news comes following a review of the 2009 where the council reported a loss of $168,000.

But Stan Gilchrist, chairman of the Lord’s Taverners Northern NSW branch, said holding another festival in Lismore would be ‘absolutely brilliant’.

“We’re very keen to do it again and this year was the first time we’ve had the carnival here so next time around we’ll do it a lot better,” he said.

“John Bancroft did an excellent job and they’ve got my backing and the backing of the Lord’s Taverners.”

Gilchrist said it would be important to get the timing right for next year, and have a longer lead-up time to the event. He also said the event was beneficial for local cricket, allowing juniors to get involved, particularly in ancillary events.

“Having the carnival back will absolutely help local cricket,” he said. “It also gives the juniors something to look forward to.”

While Harold Crozier, who has been involved with cricket locally since 1945 and is a member of the Lord’s Taverners, said it was a great idea to have the cricket carnival back in Lismore, he wondered why the NSW Cricket Association had failed to chip in some of their winnings from India.

“They should chip in I think,” he said.

Regardless of the cost, the enjoyment was worth it, according to Crozier.

“I enjoyed it, and I think everyone enjoyed it,” he said.

“Local cricketers would love it to happen again.”

To ensure the same financial loss doesn’t happen next time Lismore hosts the festival, Crozier said high ticket prices, promotion and timing would need to be taken into account.

“The other things that were on would have affected the attendance for sure,” he said.

“Ticket prices were a consideration to certain families, and it was a pretty considerable amount you needed to take a family along.

“There wasn’t enough publicity, and there have been some genuine criticisms that some people went down on certain days thinking they would see the full game but found some of it had been played in the morning.

“They need to promote it a little more definitely next time.”

LJ Hooker League Southern Districts captain Richard Nind thought it was ‘awesome’ that Lismore City Council was considering bidding for the event again.

“I reckon it’s great to bring high-class, good cricket to the area,” he said.

“It was a high standard of cricket and everyone who watched it enjoyed it.”

While Nind said he would have to ‘sit down and think’ about what Lismore City Council could do differently next time, he agreed with Crozier in saying ticket prices and timing were something that could be looked at.

“They’ve had one now, and while they had a few little teething problems, everything ran smoothly,” he said.

“If it’s timed well enough it will get the crowds in, and the tickets were a bit too dear.”

Nind thought the event was great for the area, and for local cricket. “A lot of young kids, and older people, rarely get to see top-quality cricketers,” he said.

“I think they’ll get the festival here again, especially after taking home a lot of positive feedback from the cricketers who came up here.”



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