Work to build a new indoor cricket centre at Mark Taylor Oval, Waitara, on Sydney’s Upper North Shore, reached an exciting milestone this week as the Northern District Cricket Club broke ground on the $3.5 million facility.


The first of its kind in the region, the indoor centre will be used by both women’s and men’s cricket teams, as well as junior representative cricketers, for all weather training and specialist coaching.

This is the second stage of a major upgrade of the oval to improve sports and community facilities.


In March 2019, the NSW Government announced a $9 million funding commitment for Hornsby Shire Council and the Northern District Cricket Club to partner in upgrading sporting facilities at Waitara Park, which also includes the reconstruction of the oval playing surface and the construction of a new pavilion.


The MP for Hornsby, Matt Kean, who has been passionately supporting this project from the start, said, “The investment in Mark Taylor Oval will ultimately give the local cricketers the best possible facilities and become a standard that could see Cricket Women’s International played in Hornsby, which is really exciting. This is the first stage to make Mark Taylor Oval the premier cricket facility for the whole of Northern Sydney”.


Hornsby Shire Mayor Philip Ruddock said the new indoor centre would be a major asset for community sport on Sydney’s upper north shore.


“Hornsby Shire Council recognises the importance of community sport to its residents, contributing to both their psychical and mental wellbeing. This unique new facility will service cricketers from across Hornsby Shire and beyond. Council appreciates the involvement of our project partners, the Northern District Cricket Club and the NSW Government, in this exciting second stage of the project,” said Mayor Ruddock.


Jeremy Hook, President of the Northern District Cricket Club talked about the significance of the new facility to the cricket community. “The Indoor Centre will be a focal point for the enormous and talented cricket community that is based in the Hornsby Shire. Facilities such as this will help us in our goal to develop the next Mark Taylor cricketer amongst our emerging male and female playing ranks. We thank the NSW Government, Hornsby Council and Cricket NSW for their support throughout the project.”


Member for Ku-ring-gai, Alister Henskens said, “It is incredibly important that we continually improve our local sports infrastructure so as to encourage our boys, girls and adults to be active and healthy.”


Since the project began, Hornsby Shire Council has achieved a substantial amount of the Stage One work including irrigation and drainage, the laying of topsoil, the installation of fencing, pouring of the concrete slab for the synthetic turf run-ups, new oval gates and preparation works for the new oval driveway.


“We have been working hard on the ground improvements to the oval which, despite the challenges and delays due to the record levels of rain, are well underway. We hope to complete the ground works by October and look forward to opening for general use before the end of the year. We thank the Waitara community for their patience as we know the oval plays such an important role,” said Mayor Ruddock.


In addition to the $9 million investment in the project by the NSW Government, Council is contributing section 7.11 funds towards Stage One, with an additional $200,000 via the Australian Cricket Infrastructure Fund.