With the Cricket Australia XI vs Sri Lanka Tour Match being downgraded from a First-Class match, did the game still have any meaning?
Yes absolutely, I believe that this was the most meaningful tour match in quite a few years in Australian Cricket.
There’s a few guys in the squad that are pushing for Australian Test selection and a few who would like to see themselves in the frame soon.
I think it’s a great experience for cricket fans.
We don’t get many international games here though and it wasn’t a First-Class game, so should Tasmanian fans feel a little bit short changed?
I don’t believe so, I really encourage Tasmanian fans to embrace all cricket formats.
I don’t believe having a victim mentality about what we’re getting is helpful.
We’ve had a One Day International, we’ve got this International Tour Match – and I think we’ve got the best wicket in Australia.
It’s a fantastic way to celebrate cricket in Tasmania, so if we’re able to put on a good show and get good support, then we’ll see more of these kinds of events here in Hobart.
This was a summer that we’d normally have a Test match, how far away are we from having another one?
If you look at the Future Tours Program, we’ve not really been given a chance to get a Test match in the next four years.
There’s going to be no more than five Test matches in Australia.
It’s either us here at Hobart's Blundstone Arena or Manuka Oval in Canberra that's regarded as the sixth Test venue, and there aren’t six Tests proposed.
It’s clearly disappointing for us and our Test cricket loving fans, but we are part of a cricket eco-system, so we must play our part and deliver meaning and purpose to the schedule.
We have the Big Bash and the AFL, but there’s so much money poured into this complex. Has it somewhat been worth the spend if we’re not getting any Test cricket played here in Hobart?
The reason that you invest money into infrastructure is for fan facing events.
We’re expanding to four North Melbourne AFL games this year, we’ve got five Big Bash games here, we’ve had an International ODI match and previously a T20, and now we’ve got this Tour Match.
The venue is being used for more elite content than ever before.
I think it’s well and truly justified, it allows us to compete effectively.
I believe that if we didn’t have these facilities, we probably wouldn’t even be considered for a Tour Match.
With no Test cricket for at least four years, are we guaranteed at least an ODI or a T20 International, or is it just going to depend on the fixture?
There are always going to be vagaries around the schedule, but as a 'one in six' owner of Australian cricket, we’re guaranteed International content every year.
We’ll be fighting for that and we accept that some games won’t be the best utilization of Cricket Australia’s resources.
We certainly don’t accept that having no International cricket is fair either.
The conversation that we’ve had with Cricket Australia is that if we accept our position as the Number Six venue after Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane - we’d likely be considered early for the best fixtures for the ODIs and T20I cricket, which they have been very open to.
You’ve mentioned before that Women’s Cricket could be an avenue for more Internationals and maybe an International Women’s Test. If that happens, is that something you’ll continue to lobby for?
Most certainly - it plays as part of the conversation, that if we’re not being considered for the Men’s Tests, when Women’s Tests are available, then we’d love to be considered.
We have the T20 World Cup coming up in 2020 which will be great content.
I think the Big Bash Season this year has shown us that the best wicket in Australia is right here at Blundstone Arena, and it would be cruel to cricket fans around Australia to not have games here.
You mentioned Canberra earlier, we haven’t had to worry about them in the past, but we do now. How does Cricket Australia view us and Canberra as hosting venues?
Quite a bit of money was put forward by the ACT Government to host a Test match so I think Cricket Australia consider that.
The ACT public have gone and supported their games and it should be interesting to see how they go.
With Geelong's GMHBA Stadium, Canberra's Manuka Oval and Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast - there’s more mid-sized boutique venues coming online that are capable of hosting First-Class cricket.
In Tasmania we have two venues that can host First-Class cricket, therefore it’s so important to invest in a venue like Blundstone Arena and UTAS Stadium in Launceston.
We need to make sure that we are putting forward the best possible case to host cricket.
We want to be ahead of the pack because it’s only going to be more competitive.
Have you got any more plans to develop any other part of the ground?
In the short term - no, I think the venue is the right size when you look at our current home crowds.
The scoreboards are the next priority when compared to scoreboards in other cities.
The State Government made a pledge to us last year regarding the T20 World Cup, which is the next logical development.
In terms of expansion, if we get to a point where we’re actually selling out games, then perhaps we’d look at that, but I think it’s about the right size now.
How many fans were you expecting at the Cricket Australia XI vs Sri Lanka Tour Match?
The pink ball and day-night factor was interesting in terms of people attending, and the kids are still on school holidays, so we wanted to see a crowd like the Sheffield Shield or maybe the JLT Cup, to see the rising stars of Australian Cricket.
There were obviously some really good players from Sri Lanka as well, anyone who loves cricket had a great opportunity to see some top-quality players.
What have you made of the Big Bash so far? There’s some talk about the length of the season and that sort of thing. Is it too long?
It’s interesting that people are talking about the season being 'too long' at this point in time in mid-January.
The Big Bash Season has always run throughout January every year.
If people were talking about the season being too long in the second week of February and it’s reflected in crowd attendances, then it would be something to look at.
People talk about the AFL Season being too long, and then it gets to August and everyone’s had enough until it all picks up for the Finals Series in September.
We’ve just got to be careful of 'recency bias' and that the opinion of one does not necessarily reflect the opinion of many.
From a TV perspective, we’re getting about one million people watching every night when the games are on Channel 7 and Fox Sports.
This would suggest that the fans don’t think it’s too long.
One of the challenging things is that there’s been a lot of talk about money and growth in broadcast.
The reality is that other things we can do, such as doubling infrastructure grants, being able to pay players more, being able to expand female cricket, is all funded by increases in cricket content.
It’s impossible to have one without the other. More funding means more cricket games to bring in that revenue.
We want the window for any form of cricket to be played as much as we can throughout the year.
Cricket should be played as a constant, but ultimately the fans will tell us whether there’s too much cricket on with crowd numbers and viewership numbers.
Have you been involved at all in the second Hurricanes International replacement import? Has that one crossed your desk? Or is that up to the coach?
Our new Talent Manager Jamie Cox is leading that transition, but I’m very closely involved with all discussions around International players.
I believe that we’ve spoken to every Cricket Manager in the world at this point (laughing).
We have the view that the squad’s currently performing well, so until we can find a player that’s better than our existing squad, we’d rather back our own players.
Taking an International, if they’re not as good as Doran, Jewell, Moody or Rogers - then we’ll stick with our squad and continue with the team that we have.
We might get an injury or something like that later on which will bring in a new opportunity.
At the moment there aren’t a lot of 'A-Listers' available with the amount of International cricket that's on now, there’s a bit of a clash.
We’re happy at the moment and the guys are doing really well, they’re playing with a lot of calm and purpose.
But it’s good to know that we have the opportunity to bring another player in if required.
LAST THREE MEN'S HOBART HURRICANES BBL|08 HOME GAMES:
Hurricanes vs Brisbane Heat - 4pm Tuesday 29 January, Blundstone Arena, Hobart - NB: LIVE Fox Sports TV ONLY.
Hurricanes vs Adelaide Strikers - 7:30pm Thursday 31 January, University Of Tasmania Stadium, Launceston.
Hurricanes vs Melbourne Renegades - 7:30pm Thursday 7 February, Blundstone Arena, Hobart.