Lismore served them well
ORGANISERS of last month's Lismore Festival of Cricket must feel vindicated after NSW and Victoria both made it through to the semi-finals of the Champions League Twenty20 cricket tournament in India.
Yet there is no guarantee that the festival will go ahead in the same format next year with a report expected to be delivered to Lismore City Council by the end of this year.
The Blues beat English county side Somerset on Sunday to book their semi-final berth, while the Bushrangers just sneaked into the final four after losing their final pool match against South Africa's Cape Cobras. Depending on other results, the two Aussie teams could face off against each other in tomorrow's semi-final which is to be played in Delhi.
If so, both teams should be fairly familiar with each other, after playing in a week-long tri-series of games in Lismore last month that also included the Tassie Tigers.
The teams played an intensive mixture of one-day and Twenty20 fixtures at Oakes Oval which has obviously given them a good head start for the Twenty20 tournament in India.
Lismore City Council events coordinator John Bancroft said the Festival of Cricket had been hailed a great success by all concerned and was now proving its worth for both NSW and Victoria.
“All the teams said their preparation had been faultless and they were very eager to tell us that,” Bancroft said.
“I'm happy to accept some credit for the fact that they got a good variety of games here, on good wickets, and they got to play good opposition every second day, which is what they are having to do in India.”
But a review of the costly event is underway, which will include the results of a crowd survey.
A report is expected to be delivered to council by November or December and help shape decisions about whether it will get the go-ahead next year.
“I hope there will be something, but I doubt that it will be exactly the same,” Bancroft said.
“It depends on who qualifies for the Indian tournament. It could be South Australia or Western Australia and they might want to do their own thing.
“The feelings of council are also important because it is a fairly big exercise.”
Bancroft said the Festival of Cricket could be scaled back to provide a couple of teams' preparation for the long summer of cricket ahead.
“With the added emphasis on shorter games, teams are always looking for that sort of stuff,” Bancroft said.
“Tasmania traditionally have to play somewhere because they can't grow wickets there because it is too cold.
“It all depends on how council feels about it and there's always the difficulty of taking Oakes Oval out of the equation during August and September which is traditionally a busy time.”