$15 mn for Bellerive Oval's redevelopment

Melbourne, Jan 23 (IANS) Cricket Australia (CA) and Cricket Tasmania (CT) Wednesday welcomed the Tasmanian government's decision to invest $15 million into the redevelopment of the Bellerive Oval also known as Blundstone Arena.

CA chief executive officer (CEO) James Sutherland welcomed the decision.

"The redevelopment of Blundstone Arena is a major priority for Australian cricket and we are extremely pleased about the government's announcement," said Sutherland.

Once completed, the capacity of the stadium, situated in Bellerive, Tasmania, will be increased to almost 20,000. Importantly, Tasmania is also bidding for ICC 2015 World Cup matches.

Tasmanian cricket legend Ricky Ponting is also excited about the redevelopment and what it will do for cricket in Tasmania.

"Blundstone Arena is going to become one of the world's most modern and engaging venues. It's great news for the fans as well as the players. I'm an extra proud Tasmanian today and can't wait to see the finished product. Thank you to the government for their vision and support of cricket in our state," said Ponting.

This development will ensure that Tasmania has a facility appropriate for hosting international cricket and particularly matches in the World Cup. It can also cater to the growth of Big Bash League (BBL).

Construction works at the Blundstone Arena will commence later this year and will be completed in time for the World Cup.

The redevelopment will include construction of a new Western Stand, a new concourse and gate entry area, along with a revamp of Southern Stand catering facilities and increased kiosk and toilet facilities on the hill.

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