The Victorian Premier Cricket fixtures have been released ahead of the 2023/24 seasons, highlighted by Premier Cricket’s first-ever women’s game to be played at GMHBA Stadium.
All competitions begin the weekend of October 7, with the Women’s Grand Final scheduled for Saturday 9 March and the Men’s Grand Final for Friday 22 March to Sunday 24 March.
The Women’s T20 Grand Final will be played under lights for the first time on Thursday 25 January, while the Men’s T20s will be triple-headers taking place either side of the Christmas break for regular season points, replacing the mid-week Super Slam competition.
Geelong will become the sixth club to have a team in both the Men’s and Women’s Premier First XI competitions, with their women’s team joining the top division this season for the first time in the club’s history.
As part of their inaugural season, the Geelong women’s side will host a double-header on Saturday 16 December at GMHBA Stadium.
It will be the first time ever that Women’s Premier Cricket has been played at the stadium and the first Premier Cricket game at the ground since 1997.
“We are extremely excited for Premier Cricket to return to GMHBA Stadium for the first time in over 25 years,” said Cricket Victoria’s GM – Premier Cricket, Liam Murphy.
“GMHBA Stadium is a fantastic sporting venue, and we are thrilled to be able to bring Women’s Premier Cricket to the sporting heart of Geelong.
“It is a fantastic opportunity for players in the Victorian Premier Cricket competition to be able to play on such a high-quality ground, and we thank the Kardinia Park Stadium Trust and Geelong Cricket Club for helping make this happen.
“This, alongside Geelong’s first ever season in the Women’s Premier competition, as well as a range of added changes, have made this 2023/24 one to keep an eye on.”
Gerard Griffin, CEO of Kardinia Park Stadium Trust, says he is thrilled to host Geelong’s women’s team at GMHBA Stadium.
“We’re really excited and proud to be hosting Women’s Premier Cricket at our stadium this summer,” said Griffin.
“It’s a great opportunity to showcase women’s cricket and our local team, at the best regional stadium in Australia.
“Ideally we would love a premier Cricket match, men or women to be an annual occurrence.”
This sentiment is shared by Geelong Cricket Club President, Michael King.
“We are delighted that given this is our inaugural season in Women’s Premier First’s cricket that our women have the opportunity to play on this historic ground,” said King.
“We thank the Trust for their help and support and hope it can become an annual event on the premier cricket calendar.”
The season will also see Cricket Victoria’s new Player Pathway introduced, streamlining the journey from junior cricket to the state’s representative squads.
The revamped pathway includes the introduction of a Premier Cricket Under 18s competition, whilst the Dowling Shield and Marg Jennings Cup will be shifted to younger age groups.
The male age group will change from Under 17 to Under 16, while the female competition will move from Under 18 to Under 15.
Country regions will have a new competition called the ‘Country Cup’, catering to the same age groups as the Dowling Shield and Marg Jennings Cup competitions.
Full 2023-24 Kookaburra Victorian Premier Cricket fixtures can be viewed here.