Brisbane Heat Enjoy Support and Success in Mackay
A record crowd for a standalone Rebel Women's Big Bash League match has highlighted the Brisbane Heat's two-game trip to Mackay over the weekend.
The Heat faced the Adelaide Strikers and Melbourne Renegades at Great Barrier Reef Arena on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon, with both matches played in front of 5650 and 2563 fans respectively.
Saturday night's crowd set a new WBBL record for a standalone match as the Heat completed a 43-run win over the Strikers.
This is the second season that the Heat has held home WBBL matches in Mackay, with Queensland Cricket Chief Executive Officer Max Walters thanking the Mackay Regional Council and local cricket community for their support in ensuring the games were well attended.
"For the second straight year, the Brisbane Heat's WBBL weekend in Mackay has been a resounding success. The facilities at Harrup Park are outstanding and we have once again received great support from the community.
"The WBBL is the perfect vehicle to help us grow cricket, and as we have seen by the many families and kids in the crowd, we are having the desired impact.
"These games do not happen without the work of many people and parties, and we would like to thank the Mackay Regional Council for their support in bringing elite cricket to the region," Mr Walters said.
Deputy Mayor Amanda Camm said the WBBL double-header was a huge hit in Mackay. She said council had been a supporter of this event through its Invest Mackay Events Attraction Fund since the inaugural Brisbane Heat WBBL games in Mackay last year.
“We’re proud to be a part of bringing top-class women’s cricket to Mackay and sports fans, particularly families, have really responded.
“The games at Harrup Park over the weekend again attracted massive crowds, with the Saturday night turnout a WBBL record. The atmosphere was fantastic.”
Mackay has been a pioneer for female cricket in Queensland in recent years, with Mackay Cricket Association President Terry Doolan pointing to the ongoing success of the Women's Big Bash League, now in its fourth season, as the key factor in cricket's growth in the region.
"Three years ago, we didn’t have a women’s cricket competition in Mackay. We started one with four teams in 2016-17, the second year we grew to six teams, and this summer we have ten teams playing in an all-female competition. That’s the impact that the WBBL is having," Doolan said.
For Heat captain Kirby Short, the support the team has received over the last two years as her eager to return in future seasons.
"Mackay has become our home away from home. The crowd and atmosphere across the weekend were sensational, and the ground and wicket were outstanding.
"We really enjoy playing here. We understand the bigger picture that regional areas like Mackay need these events to grow the game beyond South-East Queensland. We feel very fortunate we get the opportunity to play here with such wonderful support and we look forward to coming back," Short said.
The Heat travel back to Brisbane today in third position on the WBBL ladder after recording one win and one loss from the weekend.
The club face the Melbourne Stars this Thursday at the Gabba as part of a double-header with the club's BBL side before travelling to Cairns on Saturday to meet the Sydney Thunder at Cazaly's Stadium for their final match of the regular season.
© Cricket World 2019