Wollongong’s hopes of receiving a regular season Sheffield Shield game this summer have been resurrected.
With Cricket NSW initially opting to send a Shield game to Wagga Wagga, the Illawarra looked set to miss out on competitive, elite cricket in the upcoming season.
However, after a pitch inspection earlier this week deemed the Robertson Oval wicket not up to first-class standard, the City of Wagga Wagga council cancelled plans for the Sheffield Shield clash against Tasmania.
With the match scheduled to be played from November 3 to 6, Cricket NSW is moving with some urgency to reschedule the game.
A Cricket NSW spokesman confirmed Wollongong is currently on a shortlist of locations to host the match. A final decision will be made by Cricket NSW hierarchy next week.
Wollongong has impressed Cricket NSW officials and players in hosting a Sheffield Shield match in each of the past two years, with the wicket earning rave reviews.
North Dalton Park has also hosted Big Bash League warm up matches, Women’s Big Bash League and Futures League games through the past two seasons.
Such elite-level experience works firmly in Wollongong’s favour, with the venue a known commodity for Cricket NSW officials.
Cricket Illawarra, Destination Wollongong and Wollongong City Council are working with Cricket NSW to try and secure the Shield match.
A Cricket Illawarra spokesman confirmed local matches will be rescheduled to ensure North Dalton Park is available.
The update comes after the Illawarra Mercury last month revealed Wollongong is a leading contender to host the Sheffield Shield final, should NSW qualify and earn hosting rights.