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Karen Rolton Oval unveiled at Park 25

SACA has unveiled its new $10 million community sporting pavilion at Narnungga (Park 25). And the upgraded main ground has been named the Karen Rolton Oval.

Conveying the same picturesque charm as Adelaide Oval, the redeveloped Narnungga precinct is a multi-purpose cricket hub, which provides the South Australian cricket community an alternate training and playing venue. It will facilitate the development of community and country cricket, women’s cricket and pathway competitions.

SACA President Andrew Sinclair officially opened the transformed grounds in the western parklands on Thursday, March 8.

SACA President Andrew Sinclair introduces the facilities prior to the unveiling of the new main oval name. 

“Now we have these wonderful new cricket facilities on the doorstep of the Adelaide CBD – and only a short distance from Adelaide Oval – featuring a ground of first-class standard next door to three other ovals with turf pitches,” Sinclair said.

“This a significant piece of core infrastructure that will benefit all levels, from underage, school, community and country cricket through to Premier Cricket, our high performance and State programs, to our WBBL and BBL teams and is also ideal for hosting carnivals.”

Significantly, the unveiling occurred on International Women’s Day, with the naming of the Karen Rolton Oval paying homage to a commitment towards progress in women’s cricket.

The development of women’s cricket was a priority in the project and in the first investment of its kind nationally, SACA has devoted additional funds to the development of female-specific state-of-the-art changeroom facilities.

Sinclair said SACA was proud to name the redeveloped main oval after former South Australian and Australian captain Karen Rolton.

Test great Karen Rolton stands proudly outside the newly unveiled Karen Rolton Oval facility.

Rolton, who earlier this year was inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame, played 14 Tests, 141 one-day internationals and 15 T20Is between 1995-2009, scoring 6221 runs at a stunning average of 49.4 with 10 centuries.

A dual World Cup winner (in 1997 and 2005), Rolton remains the only woman to score a century in a World Cup final, having made 107 in the 2005 decider against India. She has scored more Test runs (1002) than any other Australian and her 209 not out against England in 2001 was the women’s Test record score until November, when Australia’s Ellyse Perry made an unbeaten 213 against England.

“It’s such a fantastic honour,” said Rolton, who also played 114 games for SA, scoring 5521 runs and taking 106 wickets. “It’s still really weird to see my name actually up on the building. It’s such a fantastic development now and something I’m really proud of.”

SACA President Andrew Sinclair taking in the view with Mark Bickley and former SACA board member Andrew Sincock. 

The three-level pavilion has six changerooms, tiered seating, sculptured viewing terraces, a function room and player viewing areas.

While there are no official tours of the facilities planned for the upcoming months, an event for the opening game of the 2018-19 season is anticipated. In the meantime, SACA Members are welcome to have a look around the precinct at any time.