IPSWICH Cricket and the Ipswich City Council have this week reached an agreement for Ipswich Cricket to take over the maintenance and future upgrade of Baxter Oval.
This financial commitment will provide much of the funds required to bring Baxter Oval up to a level comparable with other top playing fields.
A management committee meeting this coming week will draft an action plan to address issues that should include: ground curator/s for wicket preparation and field maintenance; purchase or lease of equipment; the levelling and upgrade of the wicket block; returfing and levelling of sections of the playing field; the use of the sprinkler system and possible upgrades; and the ease of cartage of covers to and from the wicket square.
It has also been suggested to hold a workshop for all wicket curators to share ideas and to develop an operational plan consistent across the region.
If the upgrades progress as planned, Baxter Oval should be ready for use next season.
To have this ground similar in standard to Allan Border Field in Brisbane would be the ideal outcome.
Two-day cricket returns this weekend for all senior grades.
With the semi-finals on March 9-10, this season's format sees the top four teams in each grade play with 1 v 4 and 2 v 3.
The winners will progress to the four-day grand finals over the weekends of March 16-17 and 23-24.
At the halfway point, each grade provides plenty of interest.
The long run home has provided many upsets in recent years, and this year is likely to see the trend continue.
There was action aplenty last Monday night in T20 cricket when Centrals chased down Swifts to win with two balls to spare.
Swifts reached 5-125 from their 20 overs with all batsmen reaching double figures after a good start by Cameron Wood and Shane Jackwitz. Centrals' charge was led by Sam Truloff (30) and continued by Adam O'Sullivan (25) and Luke Barrett (38).
Next Monday night Brothers take on the Laidley Blue Dogs at Mark Marsh Oval.
Many local juniors represented South East Queensland at state junior carnivals last month with mixed results.
But three local youngsters showed why they are being touted as "players of the future".
Matthew Elkins helped SEQ under-16s win four games with sound batting performances including two "knocks" of 108 and 92.
Both Lachlan Vellacott and Harry Wood played at the 14-years state carnival.
Lachlan was consistent with bat and ball, hitting scores of 105, 58, 56, and 51.
Harry also showed all round talent, capturing 10 wickets and hitting two good innings of 84 and 48. Several other boys recorded good performances and I am sure all players learned from the experience of playing in the carnivals.
Ipswich is the venue for the Les Kinnane Shield under-13 Development Carnival to be played from January 14-18.
Partly sponsored by the Ipswich Cricket Coaching Squad and the Parents and Old Boys Association, two bodies that Les was very much a part of, the games will be played at Baxter Oval and Marsden No.1.
Teams from Toowoomba, the Gold Coast, East Brisbane, and Ipswich will play at the inaugural carnival, with increased attendance planned for next year.
The young Ipswich Pioneers play Toowoomba on Baxter Oval at 9am on Monday.
Team officials for the Indian tour departing on March 28 have been determined.
Tour manager will be Central Districts president Darion Parise.
Team coach is Peter Blanchfield, from Queensland Cricket and tour team captain will be David Richardson, from Brothers Cricket Club.
Assistant Manager is Troy Noe and Assistant Coach is Alan Clarke, both from Northsiders Cricket Club.
Raj Sharma, from Stumps Hotel and the Mehfil Restaurant, is convening the tour and will accompany the tour party as an assistant coach. The final positions for the 15 players are being finalised. As a fundraiser, it is planned to hold a sponsors Race Day on March 8.
Contact Dave Richardson for further information about the race day.