SCG Pitch Damage Forces NSW to Shift Sheffield Shield Matches From Iconic Venue
The main square of the Sydney Cricket Ground was damaged when the Sydney Roosters Rugby League Team trained at the stadium a fortnight ago, causing Sheffield Shield matches that were to be played at the iconic venue to be moved away.
The SCG was supposed to be New South Wales’ home venue, but as of now, their first match against Tasmania will likely be played at the Drummoyne Oval, with the Marsh Cup match on October 23rd against the same opponents also in danger of being re-located.
While the condition of the actual pitch on which the match was to be played is fine, the surrounding square would not have been able to take the wear and tear of a four-day game.
"We were unaware there was a problem until this morning," Lee Germon, the NSW chief executive, said on Monday. "Our cricketers love playing at the SCG, which is the traditional home of NSW cricket. It is a great disappointment to our players and everyone at Cricket NSW that we can no longer play there over the next week.
“Our male players were looking forward to playing four of their five home Shield matches and a one-day match at the SCG this season, something that has rarely happened over the past decade or so. Our off-season training and planning was based squarely around the fact that most of our matches would be at the SCG this season, creating an extra buzz of excitement.
"It is important that our current and future international cricketers have the opportunity to play as much cricket as possible on the SCG. This is particularly so early in the season when many of our senior players are available for the Sheffield Shield ahead of the international season."
With the demolition of the Allianz Stadium close by, the SCG has hosted a variety of sporting events over the last few months. It is one of the few international cricket grounds in Australia which has resisted the use of drop-in pitches, unlike the Adelaide Oval, Melbourne Cricket Ground and the new Perth Stadium. It is scheduled to host a T20I against Pakistan on November 3.