Dark clouds pass over the Manuka oval during the PM's XI match in January.

Dark clouds pass over the Manuka oval during the PM's XI match in January. Photo: Rohan Thomson

Pending resurfacing work at Manuka Oval has forced next summer’s Chairman’s XI tour match against England to be transferred to another venue. 

Cricket Australia advised in a press release last night they had no option but to looking at alternative venues.

“Due to the timings of the works, CA has been informed that Manuka Oval will not be available to host the Chairman’s XI two-day tour match versus England on 29-30 November,” said Mike McKenna, Executive General Manager – Operations.

“CA understands that this decision has not been taken lightly but it is in the best long term interests of cricket in Canberra.’’

It is a big setback to Canberra cricket, with the city fresh from it’s biggest summer of cricket in its 100 year history. 

Manuka Oval hosted the Australian cricket team for the first time in a one day international against West Indies in February. 

But ACT Minister for Sport and Recreation Andrew Barr said the decision will enhance Manuka Oval’s hopes of hosting high profile matches. 

“The resurfacing works are necessary and will give Manuka Oval and Canberra the best chance to continue to host top class cricket fixtures in the future, and will support the ACT Government’s bid for Cricket World Cup matches in 2015.”

CA is currently working on finding an alternative venue for the Chairman’s XI match, and an announcement will be made in due course.

The resurfacing work, which The Canberra Times understands will cost between $3-4 million, is likely to begin sometimes after Greater Western Sydney Giants third and final game at Manuka Oval against Western Bulldogs on July 6. 

Manuka Oval has had the same surface since 1929, and Cricket Australia and the AFL have both requested its drainage system be improved as a priority. 

It’s believed the current system can handle about 16mm of rain before cricket fixtures are jeopardised due to safety reasons. 

It is estimated it will take at least five months for the venue to be re-surfaced and fit for action.