Cricket ACT is hopeful of finalising a six-year deal to host elite men's and women's content in the capital within the next four weeks after locking in international fixtures for the 2019-20 summer.
The Canberra Times can reveal Cricket ACT, the ACT government and Cricket Australia are in the final stages of locking in the plan to host regular international matches at Manuka Oval.
Canberra will host its first men's Twenty20 international when Australia plays against Pakistan on November 5, the night of the Melbourne Cup, this year.
Manuak Oval will also be the venue for three women's Twenty20 matches involving Australia, England and India in January as well as being a venue for the women's Twenty20 World Cup.
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr has been keen to secure a long-term arrangement to avoid yearly negotiations. It's likely the new deal will include Sydney Thunder Big Bash matches and the Prime Minister's XI match.
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"There are a lot of conversations going on ... and they've been really positive so far. We don't want to be going back every year for the same process," said Cricket ACT boss James Allsopp.
"There's quite an appetite from the ACT government to secure something. It's fantastic that we've locked in what's happening this summer coming up and we'd love to have something longer term locked in soon.
"[Cricket Australia] love bringing cricket to Canberra. We'd love a Test match, but Twenty20s are the popular format and we're getting the best teams in Canberra."
Manuka Oval hosted Canberra's maiden Test match in February when Australia thumped Sri Lanka by 366 runs.
But limited Tests and competing cities mean a Test won't be a part of Canberra's six-year plan, with the focus shifting to the shorter format.
The Prime Minister's XI, which will likely be played against Sri Lanka on October 24, will be a T20 format this year and Allsopp is working with officials in the hope of having one of Canberra's rising stars as a part of the team on a regular basis.
"We're hopeful of [finalising] the PM's XI date after the Federal election," Allsopp said.
"I'm really excited about [the PM's XI] game being a T20. We really want to reinvigorate the PM's game and find a position for it in terms of the purpose of that match.
"I'd like to see some a regular [format] and a local player feature to give them a chance [on that stage]. It's Canberra's game and being T20 allows people to come to a mid-week game after work."
CANBERRA'S CRICKET SUMMER
October 24: Prime Minister's XI v Sri Lanka. Date and time to be confirmed.
November 5: Australia (men) v Pakistan, 2.10pm.
January 31: India (women) v England, 2.10pm.
February 1: Australia (women) v England, 2.10pm.
February 2: Australia (women) v India, 2.10pm.
TWENTY20 women's World Cup
February 26: England v Qualifier and West Indies v Pakistan.
February 27: Australia v Qualifier
February 28: South Africa v Qualifier and England v Pakistan
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