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Richie Benaud. Richie Benaud.
24 December 2018 Posted by 


THE backyards of Western Sydney have produced some of the nation’s greatest cricketers, so it is only fitting that the new Centre of Excellence is to be established in this region.

The NSW Government will make a major contribution to the Centre to be located at Wilson Park, Homebush in the Sydney Olympic Park precinct.
The humble park is reminiscent of another unprepossessing oval in Western Sydney, Richie Benaud Oval at North Parramatta.
This oval celebrates the unique life of Richie Benaud, former Australian captain and the Voice of Summer for several generations of Australian fans
Richie was sought out by Channel 9’s Kerry Packer when cricket went from a gentle amateur pastime to .big business in a handful of hectic years.
Nobody symbolises cricket in Western Sydney better than Richie who was born in Penrith in 1930. His family was cricket mad with his younger brother John Benaud also going on to become an Australian Test cricketer.
His father Louis was a leg spinner who played for Penrith District Cricket Club in Sydney Grade Cricket, gaining attention for taking all 20 wickets in a match against St. Marys for 65 runs. Lou later moved to Parramatta and played for Cumberland.
It was here that young Richie grew up, learning how to bowl leg breaks, googlies and topspinners in the family backyard under his father's watch
Educated at Parramatta High School, Richie made his first grade debut for Cumberland at age 16, as a batsman
In November 1948, at the age of 18, Richie was selected for NSW…and the rest is history. He went on to become the most famous of Australian cricketing identities.
He would be the first to approve the new centre which is a dedicated facility for performance and development of cricketing talent and grassroots participation in NSW.
It will include a full-size oval, new cricket centre with indoor and outdoor cricket nets and the offices of Cricket NSW. 
Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres said the Centre will play a vital role in cementing NSW as Australia’s premier cricketing state. 
“Cricket been part of our homes for longer than we can remember but it has never had its own home in NSW, that nowchanges,” Mr Ayres said. 
Wilson Park will also provide a new home for both the men’s and women’s Sydney Thunder T20 teams with $30m invested into the new facility, funded from future property developments at Sydney Olympic Park.



Publisher and editor, Michael Walls.
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Western Sydney Business Access (WSBA) covers the business and community issues of the Greater Western Sydney region of Australia. WSBA is the popular media source for connecting with the pulse of the region and tapping into it's vast opportunities and networks.