THE sod's been turned, but the start of construction of the Cricket Centre of Excellence will not start imminently, with Orange City Council about to seek tenders for the project.
Nationals candidate for Orange Kate Hazelton and western NSW parliamentary secretary Rick Colless were at Wade Park on Friday to announce the beginning of works.
Despite no tender being awarded for the work yet and construction expected to start sometime this year, excitement for the project was still palpable.
It started from a small shed to a facility that's not just a cricket facility, it's got changerooms, a canteen and offices.Mark Frecklington
Being hit by a cricket ball hurts at the best of times, but Australian representative Jo Hunter said it was particularly painful during winter.
"Especially when you're fielding and your hands are coming onto the ball," she said.
"It's windy as well, so that can muck around with your bowling action."
They are challenges players will not have to deal with once they have the benefit of four indoor lanes to train in.
"We'll have great video equipment to look at [the player's] whole action and get it refined," Ms Hunter said.
Cricket NSW Central West region manager Matt Tabbernor said while the facility would be smaller than originally envisaged, due to budget constraints, it would still cater for current demand.
"We're planning to put it up to six lanes if usage dictates it," he said.
The design has also allowed for a future second grandstand.
Orange District Cricket Association president Mark Frecklington said the junior club started talks almost 10 years ago, but struggled to gain funding until Cricket NSW came forward with a concept.
"It started from a small shed to a facility that's not just a cricket facility, it's got changerooms, a canteen and offices," he said.
The $2.1 million project, which will demolish the former greyhound building, has received $1 million from the state government, $750,000 from the council and the remainder from Cricket NSW and Cricket Australia.
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