The following is a letter which I wrote in my capcity as club President to Cricket NSW when they were putting 1st class cricket venues out to tender. Some of the blokes at the club thought it was pretty humorous so I thought I'd post it here.

FTR, Dave Gilbert didn't see fit to reply.

5 August 2004
Mr David Gilbert
Cricket New South Wales
P. O. Box 333

Dear Mr Gilbert,

Request for Tender for International Cricket Matches

I refer to Cricket New South Wales’ recent announcement in requesting for tenders for future international matches in New South Wales.

I understand from the announcement that the tenders are currently limited to Telstra Stadium and the Sydney Cricket Ground. Whilst both of these grounds are excellent facilities in their own right, the limiting of the tender process to those venues constitutes, in my view a restraint of trade. If the process is to be truly fair, it should be made open to all grounds with an interest in hosting the matches.

Bearing this in mind, on behalf of Wenty Waratahs Cricket Club I would like to offer to Cricket NSW the use for future international and domestic matches of the Ted Burge Sports Ground, Centenary Road, Merrylands. You may have heard of this fine venue by its other epithet "The Wembley of the West".

The benefits of playing international matches at Ted Burge are manifest. Although there is little in the way of parking, the ground is located on the Parramatta – Liverpool Bus Link and therefore affords regular and reliable public transport right to the ground.

Further, there is a well-stocked canteen which allows players and fans the opportunity to avail themselves of food which is much fresher and of a higher quality than the current dross which is dished out at both the SCG and Telstra Stadium. The ladies who run the canteen are very friendly whilst our barbecue cooker Ken is the best burger flipper in the business. The players would also derive a great benefit from being able to walk straight off the ground and have a beer direct from the canteen. We would also be prepared to set aside one or two of the newly installed picnic tables over looking the ground which are only ten or so metres from the canteen for the exclusive us of players’ families and friends. Should our application prove successful, I will need to discuss with the canteen manageress a swap to plastic beer bottles, but I don’t see that as being a major impediment.

Financially, Cricket NSW would benefit from being able to hold simultaneous matches on Ted Burge No. 1 and Ted Burge No. 2. For example, Australia v India on No. 1 adjacent to an ING Cup game between NSW & WA on No. 2 would be a real money spinner. The fact that the two fields over lap should not be of concern, as we have been playing here for nearly 50 years and I cannot recall a fielder or umpire being hit by a ball struck from the other pitch (a call of “Heads up!” usually provides sufficient warning). Additionally, as both grounds have Astro-Turf pitches, the grounds will be playable more often than the regular turf wickets, whilst the use of two-piece balls means NSW Cricket will save approximately $20.00 per ball used.

Subject to your own protocols, at the end of each Saturday we usually give the kids who collect the boundary flags a free icy-pol from the canteen for their efforts. The grounds are mowed each week by the Council, however, if the standards required are higher than this, I’m sure that we could work something out with them. The outfield can be a little rough, but first class players are always yapping on about what great fielders they are. We feel sure that the truth or otherwise of those assertions will be truly tested once a couple of balls leap at the throats of fieldsmen as they slide to field them.

In relation to local rules, if the ball hits any of the light poles which are on the field of play, it’s a four, even if it hits on the full and would have gone for six. The current lighting allows night matches for up to and including under 16s, however, the Council have told us that they intend installing extra lights in the near future. The concrete dish drain which runs down the middle of the ground is in play, and fielders will need to be aware that no repsonsibility will be taken if they dive onto the concrete and cause themselves an injury.

For sponsors and for after-match entertainment, we have available both the dressing rooms (in which several forms of entertainment have been presented in the past) and the magnificent Ted Burge Pavilion, which over looks ground number one. This excellent facility seats around 100 people and can be booked through the Parks’ Trust. I should, however, warn you that if the hall is left in an unsatisfactory condition, you will forfeit your $100.00 bond.

Ted Burge No. 1 also has a large wire mesh fence running along its Western edge, which means that most sixes hit to that side of the ground will not go onto the road or into the houses. Accordingly, fan safety is greatly enhanced, although admittedly it does limit the utility of the “Catch the Six” promotion at ING matches.

Practice facilities for the players include the Jim Craig Memorial Practice Nets, the keys for which can be obtained by contacting a Club committee member. If these nets are unavailable due to junior teams practising, you can make use of the third net which is not locked. Although older than the Jim Craig nets, this net is useful as a last resort, but the ball does tend to rear off a length when it hits the patch of paint which was spilt on it when the creases were last marked about 9 years ago.

Geographically, Ted Burge Sports Ground is close to the centre of Sydney, making it easier for the people of the greater Western Suburbs to access to their State and National teams. Bringing big-time cricket to this culturally diverse area of Sydney would also introduce a number of non-English speaking communities to the great game.
Media facilities are admittedly rudimentary, however, this has not stopped Channel Nine from using outside broadcasting facilities at grounds like Drummoyne Oval in the past. We also have a long-term aim of putting a second floor above the current canteen and dressing sheds which, if we get Council approval to lop a few trees, would be a great press-box.

I would be grateful if you would duly consider the matters raised in this application at your earliest convenience. Should Cricket NSW decide to accept our proposal, kindly let us know as soon as possible, as we will have to re-schedule a couple of our B9 and C Grade matches around the Christmas period.

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact one of the above committee members.
Yours faithfully,