Beth Mooney of the Heat bats during the Womens Big Bash League (WBBL) cricket match between Brisbane Heat and Melbourne Stars at Harrup Park, Mackay, Queensland, Friday, January 12, 2018.
Beth Mooney of the Heat bats during the Womens Big Bash League (WBBL) cricket match between Brisbane Heat and Melbourne Stars at Harrup Park, Mackay, Queensland, Friday, January 12, 2018.

Mooney welcomes Great Barrier Reef Arena upgrades

AUSTRALIAN Women's Cricket Team star Beth Mooney has welcomed the prospect of more top-tier cricket being played in Mackay after the Great Barrier Reef Arena project finally received the State Government funding it needed to go ahead.

The arena is expected to be one of the nation's premiere boutique sporting venues, capable of hosting Big Bash, Women's Big Bash, AFL, AFLW and international cricket.

Mooney said the "already pretty outstanding facility", which drew the largest-ever stand-alone crowd for a WBBL fixture when the Heat played the Adelaide Strikers in January last year, would be an even more attractive venue for top-tier cricket once the upgrades were complete.

"During my time at the Heat we looked forward to playing in Mackay and had a welcoming crowd up there," Mooney said.

"It was nice to play in a regional part of Queensland. That's something close to my heart, being a regional Queenslander.

"To be able to get broadcast (facilities) and grandstands and hopefully an upgrade to the changerooms and the like is impressive.

"I'm sure it will attract a lot of interest."

If the Heat return to play in Mackay next season it will be without Mooney, however.

The star wicketkeeper-batsman signed a two-year deal with the Perth Scorchers in July.

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