Cricket fans have called for the New Year’s Test in Sydney to be scrapped after another rain disaster – and Shane Warne predicted trouble this summer
- Jane McGrath Day celebrations at the SCG have been postponed due to bad weather
- Fans want the new year’s Test to be held in another city after years of problems
- Shane Warne suggested that Sydney should play the first Test of the summer
Sydney’s habit of turning on the wet weather for the annual Test in the new year has finally rubbed off on fans and pundits, many of whom are calling for the event to be moved away from the harbor city.
Incessant rain saw Friday’s game abandoned without a single ball being bowled, after torrential rain and poor lighting due to overcast conditions robbed fans of more than 50 overs of play in first two days of the tournament between Australia and South Africa at the SCG.
Festivities for Jane McGrath Day – one of the highlights of the cricket calendar down under as spectators dress in pink to raise money for the fight against breast cancer – had to be postponed and fans continued to play of their own impromptu game behind one of the stands at the famous ground.
The only people spectators saw taking to the SCG turf on Friday were umpires and ground staff as the game was washed away by heavy rain – and many fans had had enough
The stands should be packed for Jane McGrath Day – one of the highlights of the cricket calendar – but the festivities have had to be postponed until Saturday due to the weather
It is far from the first time the action has been washed out, with meteorologist Thomas Saunders pointing out that rain has affected Test cricket 64 per cent of the time in the last eight years in Sydney.
ABC sport analyst Ric Finlay also found that 25 of the last 110 days of Test cricket played at the SCG have been washed out – compared to just nine days out of 115 at the MCG.
Last summer spin king Shane Warne suggested a possible solution as he noted that ‘it always seems to rain in Test matches’.
‘Imagine if the tourists, and any opposition team, came here to Sydney and had 10 days in port and relaxed, prepared and then played the first Test in Sydney rather than the fourth Test,’ he said.
Shane Warne posed the problem last summer when he suggested Sydney play the first Test of the summer rather than the last, because it ‘always seems to rain’ in early January
That call to move the new year’s clash from the port city has now been welcomed by many fans on social media.
‘Six of the last 7 test matches at the SCG have been delayed by rain, 4 of the last 7 draws. @CricketAus if it doesn’t work you need to try something else,’ tweeted Sean O’Reilly.
‘Beyond the usual banter between the state and the fanciful idea of stadium roofs, there is actually serious talk about the timing of the Sydney Test going forward,’ writes Brett Sprigg.
Many fans are calling for Warne’s plan to go ahead – but Cricket Australia’s chief executive has poured cold water on the prospect
A cricket diehard saw the lighter side of another day lost in bad weather in the harbor city
‘Fittingly for a city that has lost more Test cricket to the rain than Manchester, the SCG has even managed to sell ad space on its big ‘ol rain covers,’ added Isabelle Westbury.
‘Apart from the fact that it always rains, the pitch is unlikely to break and it’s basically a dead rubber, the Sydney Test is a great event,’ joked Daniel Cherny.
‘Petition to move the pink test to a better climate. Hobart,’ added another fan.
However, Cricket Australia chief executive Nick Hockley has shot down any hopes of Sydney swapping the new year’s Test to another city.
‘It’s such an iconic event in the sporting calendar, people plan their whole holiday around it. We saw 30,000 people come out yesterday,’ he said on Thursday.
‘Especially now with the pink Test in its 15th year and the positive impact. There’s a lot going on around here but obviously we all want to see as many games as possible.’