Work starts on first practice turf wicket area at Wade Park

ACTION STATIONS: Workers begin preparing the site for the practice cricket pitch area in the north-eastern corner of Wade Park.
ACTION STATIONS: Workers begin preparing the site for the practice cricket pitch area in the north-eastern corner of Wade Park.

Contractors have begun preparing a corner of Wade Park for Orange’s first public turf practice wicket area.

When completed it will provide nine metres of turf wicket area for the top players to use.

It is part of the steps toward creating a cricket Centre of Excellence at Wade Park.

Orange City Council Sport and Recreation Committee chair, Cr Jason Hamling said that while planning was continuing for the indoor centre the outdoor work was part of the overall scheme.

“I’m pleased we’re already taking the first steps towards making Wade Park a cricketing centre of excellence,” he said.

“To attract big games of cricket, we need much better training facilities and part of that package is a set of cricket training nets with turf wickets.”

Another boost for Wade Park’s facilities will be new sight-screens.

The new screens will be larger than the former units and they’ll be able to removed during the football season.

“These new additions are about making it simpler to attract major games, but there’ll undoubtedly be good for the quality of local training and local games as well,” he said.

Orange District Cricket Association president Mark Frecklington said the only similar practice turf pitch area in Orange was at Kinross-Wolaroi School which was only open to Kinross players and students.

He said the Wade Park area would have netting around it and would be a valuable asset for local players.

“We are never going to say ‘no’ to turf practice wickets,” Mr Frecklington said.

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