Canberra’s first-ever Test match is set to be played in front of a near full house, with only a few thousand tickets remaining for the opening three days of the match at Manuka Oval.
The sold-out sign has already gone up for day two of the second Domain Test between Australia and Sri Lanka, while just 2500 tickets remain for Friday’s opening day and 4500 for day three on Sunday.
Saturday’s local Premier (club) Cricket games have been called off to ensure cricket lovers can attend the Test. The remaining tickets can be purchased here.
Manuka Oval, a multi-purpose venue that holds 12,000 fans for cricket, will become just the 11th Test venue in Australia following years of lobbying from Cricket ACT to host a match in the nation's capital.
The ground has hosted nine one-day internationals in the past as well as the annual Prime Minister’s XI clash, but this will be its first taste of the five-day format.
"There's been a lot of people who have put a lot of blood, sweat and tears to try and get a Test match," Cricket ACT chief executive James Allsopp told AAP.
"We'd love to host a Test every summer, but the reality is that's not going to happen.
"All we can control is that the Test … is really iconic and a really special occasion that is a great representation (of) Canberra and regional cricket, then we can get as much internationals as possible in the future."
Having unveiled the ground’s new media centre just before Christmas, Cricket ACT has also erected a temporary stand with a roof on the eastern side of the ground to provide more shaded areas for fans during the Test and the KFC BBL game between Sydney Thunder and Hobart Hurricanes on February 9.
The summer heat in the nation’s capital can be extreme, but the forecast for the opening two days of the Test is for mild temperatures in the mid-to-late 20s before rising to 34 degrees Celsius on Sunday and Monday.
On Tuesday, the ACT government committed a further $2.7 million to add more permanent shaded areas to the ground later this year.
“We’re investing in the infrastructure here with a long-term view,” said ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr.
"It’s not going to hundreds of millions of dollars, and the intent here is not to turn Manuka Oval into a mini-MCG. This has to remain the best boutique cricket and AFL venue in the country.”
The remaining tickets for the Manuka Oval Test can be purchased here.
Domain Test Series v Sri Lanka
Australia: Tim Paine (c/wk), Joe Burns, Pat Cummins, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Kurtis Patterson, Will Pucovski, Jhye Richardson, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis
Sri Lanka: Dinesh Chandimal (c), Dimuth Karunaratne, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Dhananjaya de Silva, Roshen Silva, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Kusal Perera, Dilruwan Perera, Lakshan Sandakan, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Lahiru Kumara, Dushmantha Chameera, Kasun Rajitha
First Test: Australia won by an innings and 40 runs
Second Test: February 1-5, Canberra