Rene Farrell backs ACT Meteors to make Twenty20 final at Manuka Oval

ACT Meteors fast bowler Rene Farrell believes having the women's Twenty20 final at Manuka Oval could be the edge the Meteors need to claim their first piece of silverware.

The Meteors will have the advantage of playing the decider in Canberra after Cricket Australia's announcement on Wednesday that the final will be a curtain-raiser to the men's Big Bash League final for the second straight year.

ACT Meteors and Australian cricketer Rene Farrell.
ACT Meteors and Australian cricketer Rene Farrell. Photo: Katherine Griffiths

Last season the Meteors travelled across the country to the WACA Ground to face the Queensland Fire as the Perth Scorchers hosted the BBL final against the Hobart Hurricanes.

The 2014-15 BBL final will be held at Manuka Oval on January 29 to provide a neutral venue while other grounds are unavailable because of international fixtures and commitments to the 2015 Cricket World Cup.

Farrell said the Meteors would relish the chance to avenge their seven-wicket loss to the Fire in front of their home fans.

"That's a massive incentive to make the final,''' Farrell said. ''To have that home crowd behind us, I think we can go that extra step this year and hopefully come away with a win.


"It's a great boost for cricket in the ACT to have the BBL final and it shows the game is growing.''

If the Meteors do qualify for the final, they will be playing in front of a live TV audience on Channel 10, as they did last season.

The Meteors return to Manuka Oval for the first time in two years, with three Twenty20 games to be played under lights on Friday nights.

Meteors coach Andrew Dawson said it would be the perfect chance for the game to reach a bigger audience.

"[Cricket ACT chief executive] Mark Vergano has been very proactive in trying to promote women's cricket to the local community,'' Dawson said. "Our first round at Manuka, we'll have Meg Lanning, the Australian women's captain, and our own players like Rene.

"It's a great opportunity for families to have a relaxed time and watch some good cricket.''

Farrell will begin pre-season training with the Southern Stars on Thursday in Brisbane before four one-day internationals and four Twenty20 internationals against Pakistan starting next week.

The first three one-dayers are part of the inaugural ICC women's championship, which has been developed to provide regular playing opportunities for the women's team and increase the profile of the game outside World Cup years.

"I think it's fantastic [because] we don't play Pakistan and the West Indies outside of the ICC World Cup events,'' Farrell said.

''This brings in the opportunity not just to play England and New Zealand. I think it's going to grow the game and hopefully I'll be around in 2017 to see the outcome and win a one-day World Cup, which I haven't done yet.''