Cricket boss hitsback over Test call ( admin posted on June 13th, 2018 )

Tony HarrisonSTAY at home if you want to bag Tasmania, the state’s cricket boss has declared, following criticism of crowds for the Bellerive Test.

Cricket Tasmania chairman Tony Harrison has taken a swipe at mainland media who he says have belittled the island state.

Mr Harrison appeared to be referring to the ABC radio commentary team when he said he was upset by comments from the media.

“I’m a bit disappointed with some of the comments I’ve heard on the radio in the last two days, not only critical of the crowds but they’re critical of Tasmania,” Mr Harrison said.

“What I’d say to the commentators that do that – if you don’t like Tasmania don’t come here.”

Mr Harrison described as “ridiculous” the suggestion that Hobart could lose its Test match because of poor crowds.

The Bellerive Test has again been played against a backdrop of empty stands and a sparse hill population, with 14,419 turning up for the three days against Sri Lanka.

That included just 6221 on day one, when local hero Ricky Ponting was farewelled from international cricket.

Last year, just 16,525 turned up for the three-day thriller against New Zealand.

The past two Tests at the venue have averaged just 5157 per day.

But Mr Harrison insists Hobart is in no danger of losing its fixture whenever a six-Test summer rolls around.

“I think that’s a ridiculous suggestion,” he said.

“That is nonsense.

“We are one of the owners of Cricket Australia and Cricket Australia has a philosophy in its programming to spread the game around the country.”Our Test matches … are not in question, not in doubt.”

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