Major cricket event the Bulls Masters will be played in the region until 2026 after this weekend’s game culminated in a hugely successful three-year partnership, and six-year engagement in total, with Bundaberg Cricket Association and Bundaberg Regional Council.
In this week’s Ordinary Meeting, councillors voted to extend the life of the game in Bundaberg by another three years after a request from Managing Director of Bulls Masters Jimmy Maher.
It comes after an audience of more than 2000 attended Saturday’s event to watch former Australian and Queensland Bulls greats such as Michael Kasprowicz, Jimmy Maher, Adam Dale, and the leading run scorer in the history of the Big Bash Chris Lynn take on Bundaberg’s best on the field.
The exciting game ended with the Bulls Masters taking out the Bundaberg Invitational XI side by a mere 14 runs.
The event was also made up of a dinner function, school visits, a kids super clinic and more throughout the week.
Bundaberg Cricket Association’s Shaun Rose said the 2023 game had the largest attendance since pre-covid, and the atmosphere and feedback had been “nothing short of amazing”.
“This was on top of the 400 for the dinner made up of largely local businesses and corporates,” he said.
“Many of these people who attended the weekend are from outside the region and significant funds has been spent in hospitality, accommodation and other various venues, locations across the district.
“All the food, drinks, promotions from the dinner and game were purchased from local businesses and events like this continue to place Bundaberg and Bundaberg Cricket at the forefront of locations to host State Carnivals with over six now having been held in the past 18 months.”
Shaun said Bulls Masters also put Bundaberg in the spotlight across the nation, with the game livestreamed by local company Wide Bay ITV.
“The livestream of the game was seen by well over 2000 viewers and has been numbers for the replay of the match is already past 300 and will continue to grow,” he said.
Since coming to Bundaberg, Shaun said there had been a positive increase in the number of junior players signing up to cricket locally.
“In less than a decade, the junior competition has increased to just over 30 junior teams,” he said.
“Without the Bulls Masters, the facilities and infrastructure at Salter Oval and Kendall Flat wouldn’t be at the level they are today, and Bundaberg Cricket wouldn’t be in the position it currently is in both the senior and junior ranks.”
Council proud to support Bulls Masters
Bundaberg Region Mayor Jack Dempsey said Council was pleased to support The Bulls Masters for a further three years, with the agreement including an annual financial contribution of $20,000 cash plus up to $5,000 of in-kind support.
“The Bulls Masters provides so many benefits to the region and has injected significant funds into the local economy,” he said.
“It is a fantastic sporting event that rallies the community together while putting Bundaberg on the map and Council is proud to support an organisation that gives so much back to our region.
“This event would not be possible without the fantastic support that we get from the local business community who also see the positive aspects of the Bulls Masters.
“A big thank you must also go to all of the volunteers and the Bundaberg Cricket Association.”
Sport and Recreation portfolio spokesperson Cr Vince Habermann agreed.
“This event is an envy of other cities and regions,” he said.
“It is not only a fantastic promotion of Bundaberg, but also does so much to support our local schools, disability sector and the community as a whole, with stars from other sports always involved including future Rugby League Immortal Cameron Smith who was a smash hit with sporting lovers this year.
“In the past three years alone, Bulls Masters will have contributed well over $100,000 to local organisations as part of their charitable endeavours which Bundaberg Regional Council is sincerely grateful for.”