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Sutherland backs bold Canberra push

CA boss backs ACT Cricket's push for Manuka Oval to set the nationwide benchmark for support of the Australian Women's Cricket Team

A sell-out crowd at Manuka Oval for the business end of the Commonwealth Bank Women’s Ashes is “well and truly a possibility” in November, says Cricket Australia Chief Executive James Sutherland.

The two final matches of the multi-format Ashes – two Twenty20 fixtures – will be played in Canberra on November 19 and 21.

Australia play three ODIs, one Test and the opening T20 before they head to the nation’s capital, and the points system in place means there’s a distinct possibility those Manuka Oval fixtures will prove make-or-break for Australia and England.

With that in mind, Sutherland has backed Cricket ACT’s push to sell out the matches.

What is the Women's Ashes?

"It'd be fantastic if that was able to happen," Sutherland said in Canberra on Friday, as part of his week-long Play Cricket Week tour of Australia.

"We certainly know the fans here in the ACT and the broader region, there's a very strong cricket culture here.

"We wouldn't be fixturing games here in this part of the country if we didn't believe that a sell-out every time a game is here is well and truly a possibility.

"The T20's are actually strategically positioned at the end of the series. The points may well really count to decide who wins the Ashes eventually.

"From that perspective, we're hoping there'll be lots of people from throughout Canberra and the surrounding regions that get behind our women's team as they try to retain the Ashes."

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The women's Ashes matches are the only internationals to be played in Canberra this summer. The ground will also host the Prime Minister’s XI clash with England on February 2, while Manuka Oval is set to host its maiden Test match in the 2018-19 summer.

Last month, ACT Cricket chief Cameron French said the Women’s Ashes presented Canberra with the chance to set the benchmark for the game all across the country with strong crowds.

"I think (a sell out) would be enormous,” French said. ”We're really lucky the Canberra community supports sport, and summer is women's sport in Canberra."

"I think it would really set a benchmark across all of Australia for how the Australian women's team is supported. We think it's a great opportunity for Canberrans to again support cricket in the region."

Women’s Ashes tickets went on sale last month, with tickets priced at $10 for adults, $5 concession while children are free.

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Commonwealth Bank Women's Ashes

Schedule


First ODI Allan Border Field, October 22

Brisbane Charity Partner: Lord Mayor's Charitable Trust

Second ODI Coffs International Stadium, October 26

Third ODI Coffs International Stadium, October 29

Coffs Junior Cricket Association Partners: Coffs Harbour District JCA, Nambucca Bellingen JCA, and Clarence River JCA

Day-Night Test North Sydney Oval, November 9-12

First T20 North Sydney Oval, November 17

North Sydney Charity Partner: McGrath Foundation

Second T20 Manuka Oval, November 19

Third T20 Manuka Oval, November 21

Canberra Charity Partner: Lord's Taverners ACT