IF rugby league circles think starting work on its proposed multi-purpose rectangular sporting precinct is as easy as pulling up stumps on over a century of cricket history at Wade Park and moving elsewhere, think again.
“I guess the thing is, we’re not looking to move,” Orange District Cricket Association secretary Peter Jarick said.
“That’d be the first fight they’d have.”
Orange’s two senior rugby league clubs, CYMS and Hawks, have proposed to sell Wade Park and use the funds made available from the sell-off, along with other money raised from asset sales, to build a multi-million dollar precinct with a purpose-built rectangular field.
The bold bid from the winter code comes after council asked for comments in regards to the Wade Park Master Plan.
But rugby league isn’t the only sport calling Wade Park home.
Cricket has been using the facility since 1860.
“Now they think they can sell it in 2012. We’ll be fighting hard to keep it,” Jarick said.
“We’re disappointed we weren’t consulted (in the CYMS-Hawks proposal) and once again rugby league thinks it can control Orange cricket. It’s been our ground longer than it has theirs.”
But council wanted to make it very clear yesterday afternoon cricket still has a place at the ground.
“Firstly, the master plan hasn’t come before the council yet so no decision on the future of the ground has been made,” Orange City Council spokesman Nick Redmond said.
“Also, the master plan does make mention that cricket should remain at Wade Park. Councillor Hamling’s notice of motion also states cricket should remain at the ground.”
Jarick said he had no problem sharing Wade Park with a winter code.
In fact, the ODCA has made a submission to council regarding the Wade Park Master Plan, offering to share the ground with Aussie Rules, that is if rugby league is moved elsewhere.
Jarick said should Wade Park be given the new scoreboard, a picket fence and sight screens, as was promised before the cost of resurfacing the ground blew-out last year, Wade Park would be one of the finest cricket grounds in country NSW.
“If you bring the ground up to speed we’d easily be one of the best,” Jarick said.
“Unless (CYMS and Hawks) can fund it and pay for (the new ground) themselves, it’s not going to happen. We want to stay and that’s part of our submission. We just can’t afford to lose Wade Park.”