Federal Minister for Sport, Kate Ellis, and Queensland Minister for Sport, Phil Reeves, made the announcement at Allan Border Field in Brisbane, the home of the Centre of Excellence (CoE).
Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland, Queensland Cricket CEO, Graham Dixon, and international male and female players welcomed the funding of the new $26 million facility that will build upon the excellent outdoor facilities at Allan Border Field as a long-term home for the Centre of Excellence.
The new facility will include a state-of-the-art athlete development centre that will integrate science, technology and coaching to enhance both development of athletes and the understanding of skill development and performance in the sport. The centre will boast new technology such as virtual reality tools for decision making and biomechanical equipment for technique analysis, research and skill development.
The redevelopment will play host to a new integrated sports medicine, injury rehabilitation and physical preparation program, and also be better equipped to host national coaching and umpiring education programs.
"The new Centre of Excellence - backed with $17.5 million from the Rudd Government - will help our cricketers reach even greater highs,” Minister Ellis said.
"I look forward to seeing today's players and the cricketing stars of the future refine their skills at the Centre of Excellence and continue Australia's cricketing legacy."
Minister Reeves said the major expansion was a coup for Queensland and meant that Brisbane would be the home of the Cricket Centre of Excellence for many years to come.
“This will help Queensland continue to build its reputation as a world-class sports development and events hub,” he said.
“The construction could potentially generate more than 400 jobs with additional staff to be involved in the ongoing operation of the centre.
“Teams from countries throughout the world will come to Brisbane to use these facilities which is good news for tourism. This is good for cricket, good for jobs and a smash hit for the Queensland economy.”
Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland welcomed both the Federal Government and Queensland State Government’s investment in helping Australian cricket maintain its edge:
“We are delighted that the Federal Government, Queensland State Government, Queensland Cricket and Cricket Australia, with the support of the AIS, have been able to come together and make this redevelopment a reality,” Sutherland said.
“Cricket Australia has a vision for cricket to be Australia’s favourite sport and to do this we need our men’s and women’s teams to be competitive on the world stage, with a goal to be number one in the world. We believe that this new facility will help us achieve this vision in the long-term future.”
“We thank both the State and Federal Governments for investing in cricket and look forward to the new facility continuing to produce the world champion cricketers that the Centre of Excellence has been renowned for since its inception in 1988.”
Queensland Cricket CEO Graham Dixon said the new facility would benefit the State in many ways.
“By having access to this cutting edge technology literally on our doorstep, our promising juniors, growing Indigenous talent, and elite men and women will continue to receive the best cricket education possible,” Dixon said.
“Not only that, but our coaches and other support staff will learn even more from this environment, which will filter out through all our networks around the State.
“We feel very privileged to be a part of this unique partnership between the State and Federal Governments which will undoubtedly provide a significant boost to cricket and the local economy.”
The funding of the $26 million new facility includes a grant of $17.5 million from the Federal Government and $5 million from the Queensland State Government while Cricket Australia will contribute the remaining funds for the construction and continued operational costs once the redevelopment is complete.
The Centre of Excellence AIS Men’s program has seen 282 scholars pass through since its inception in 1988, with 65 of those scholars going on to represent Australia. The AIS women’s program that started in 2002 has seen 44 scholars with 38 progressing to Australian selection.
The Centre of Excellence also plays host to Australian men’s and women’s teams, Australian youth teams and Indigenous development teams for tour preparation, and conducts national talent camps for Australia’s most promising young cricketers.
In 2009 a total of 433 athletes, coaches, sports science and sports medical staff visited and participated in Centre of Excellence programs. These included groups from neighbouring developing cricket nations such as Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Vanuatu, Japan, Indonesia and Samoa, along with the wide range of attendees from across Australia.