Padding up to busy time

SPONSORS of Lismore's festival of cricket gathered at Tommys restaurant in Molesworth Street yesterday for a social lunch and a chat before the start of a busy sporting moment.

Set to kick off on Tuesday, September 22, state cricket sides NSW, Victoria and Tasmania will face each other for a week of competition - five 20/20 games and two one day matches.

In the midst of all this excitement will be the Lismore Cup, On Thursday September 24, and the Lismore Masters Games, which will run from Friday, September 25 through Tuesday September 27.

Lismore City Council's events manager John Bancroft said the crowded calendar wasn't planned, but neither was the city prepared to turn down the rare offer of a quality cricket series.

With NSW and Victoria soon heading to India to take part in a world series of state sides, the quality of play in these games should be of the highest order.

“The Festival of Cricket was cooked up by a group called Complete Sports Marketing and they simply told us the timing was not negotiable,” Mr Bancroft said.

But he said the market that was attracted to 20/20 cricket was much the same that would be enjoying the masters games, so the program would gel nicely.

The fact that the regional city can fit so many programs within its sporting arenas all at the same time is a credit to the organisers.

“The venues at Oakes and Crozier ovals are very good,” Mr Bancroft said. “They hold 8000 people, they're close to the CBD, they offer good playing surfaces and they are safe.”

Mr Bancroft said that in the past few years the city had lifted its game when it came to aggressively bidding for these sorts of sporting opportunities.

Major sponsor Tony Sidgreaves, owner of Tommys, said the festival offered the chance to 'give something back to the great community of Lismore'.

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