COFFS Harbour will be the centre of attention for North Coast cricket fans when the C.ex Coffs International Stadium next week hosts the city’s first Sheffield Shield match.
The four day match between NSW and South Australia starts on Thursday and Cricket NSW chief executive Andrew Jones believes the fixture will be a major community event.
“Cricket NSW tries to take Sheffield Shield matches to regional areas each year,” Jones said.
“Last summer we had a lot of success with our games in Wagga Wagga and Newcastle, and we are very excited about coming to Coffs Harbour,” he said.
This match will be an opportunity to pay tribute to Phillip Hughes, who represented Macksville and the North Coast with pride and passion.
Cricket NSW felt that to play a first class match in the region, between the two teams he represented in the Sheffield Shield, would be an appropriate way to honour Phillip while providing the local community with an opportunity to celebrate and reflect on his career.
“The tribute will be the match,” Jones said.
“We have discussed this with representatives of the Hughes family and at their request we won’t be arranging any more formal tributes during the game.”
Entry to the Sheffield Shield match is free and local children have been invited to take part in MILO T20 Blast and in2CRICKET activities during the lunch break on each of the four days.
In addition, Cricket NSW and Macquarie Bank Sports will host a cricket clinic for over 150 kids on the day prior to the match with a number of NSW Blues players joining in after training.
Fans will also have the opportunity to meet Blues players at McDonald’s in North Coffs Harbour on February 24 from 5pm to 6pm, while Cricket NSW is planning a seminar for local cricket coaches where they will have the opportunity to meet and learn from members of the NSW coaching staff.