Cricket World Cup chief executive John Harnden and ACT sports minister Andrew Barr with the competition's trophy at Manuka Oval on Wednesday. Photo: Jeffrey Chan
The ACT government is hoping the cricket World Cup will help Manuka Oval host Big Bash League, Ryobi Cup, Sheffield Shield or AFL games as the six-week tournament puts most of Australia's main ovals out of action.
And ACT Sports Minister Andrew Barr wants to liaise with Canberra's embassies to have a World Cup team based in the ACT in the lead-up to one of cricket's biggest events.
He met ICC World Cup local organising committee chief executive John Harnden to discuss the issues at Manuka on Wednesday.
Manuka will host three games during the 2015 tournament - Afghanistan against Bangladesh, West Indies versus Zimbabwe, and South Africa against Ireland - the last of which is on March 3.
But the World Cup runs for almost four weeks after that, culminating with the final at the MCG on March 29.
The SCG, Adelaide Oval, the WACA and Bellerive also host games once the pitch dust has settled at Manuka, meaning any domestic cricket still running will be looking for free grounds, as will the early rounds of the AFL season.
Having proved it can host big sporting events during Canberra's centenary, Barr said the ACT was already looking for more games to play on a redeveloped oval with new lights.
Cricket Australia hasn't yet locked in its international fixtures for the 2014-15 summer, let alone started organising the domestic competitions.
''A whole range of venues will be offline and there's still a normal cricket season, so that's our chance for some Big Bash content,'' Barr said.
''So there's a range of things, also the AFL, we'll probably get a few more games earlier because of the unavailability of the other major venues … we're talking with everyone around what else Manuka can host.''
Harnden agreed Manuka had proven itself when it hosted Australia and the West Indies in February. He said the ticket prices would be released later this year, but wouldn't be drawn on how much they would cost, apart from ''affordable and accessible'' to ensure ''bums on seats''.
Despite being greeted by an oval that looked like a bowling green surrounded by a building site, he was confident Manuka would again put on a show in front of three packed houses for the World Cup. Following the redevelopment, capacity will be about 15,000.
''I would like to think, and I'm sure Cricket Australia shares that view, that they see Canberra as a long-term part of Australian cricket,'' Harnden said.
He said the tournament fixture had been organised to spread the teams around Australia and New Zealand over the six weeks. While most of the established cricketing nations will prepare at home, lesser-lights such as Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Ireland might set up base in Australia in the lead-up to the World Cup.
Barr has already started discussions to try and lure one of them to Canberra, with international flights to Canberra Airport expected to be up and running by then.