Cricket centre of excellence wins $600,000 backing from Wodonga Council

WODONGA'S two major sporting venues, Birallee Park and Martin Park, are vying to become the home of a $1.3 million cricket centre of excellence.

Cricket Albury-Wodonga chairman Michael Erdeljac.

Cricket Albury-Wodonga chairman Michael Erdeljac.

The project appeared doomed when Wodonga Council moth-balled the Baranduda Fields sporting complex.

But a $600,000 commitment from council in its draft budget released on Monday night and still to be confirmed funding from the Victorian Government, Cricket Australia, Cricket NSW, Cricket Victoria and Cricket Albury-Wodonga has resurrected the development.

Birallee Park has been considered the front-runner due to obvious space availability, but council has confirmed Martin Park is still in the mix.

"The council considered alternative sites across its existing recreational spaces, recognising only Birallee Park and Martin Park had the capacity to accommodate such a facility," council's sport and recreation manager Janelle Williamson said.

"The council is undertaking final assessments of the sites and once a preferred option has been determined, will work with existing users."

Martin Park's No.2 ground has become a showpiece ground for CAW in recent years and cricket returned to the No.1 ground last season after an absence of more than a decade.

A previous estimate of $2.2 million was based on developing the centre at Baranduda.

CAW chairman Michael Erdeljac welcomed the council commitment.

"I thought the opportunity had been lost, but this has been great vision shown by Wodonga Council to look at another venue," he said.

"The best cricketers in Albury-Wodonga won't need to go to Melbourne or Sydney to access high level coaching because it will be right here."

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