SCG boss flags BIG changes to New Year’s Test after fans call for Sydney match to be called off due to bad weather
- SCG boss Tony Shepherd is open to playing the New Year’s Test as a day-night fixture
- It came as rain and poor light severely affected the Third Test in Sydney
- In recent years, the La Nina weather pattern has also seen rain stop many Tests
- Shepherd later confirmed that Sydney would not give up hosting the Tests every January
SCG Trust chairman Tony Shepherd insists the Sydney Test should be played in its New Year timeslot despite weather concerns – but would be open to reimagining it as a day-night match to combat bad light stop.
Six of the last seven Tests at the SCG have been interrupted by rain and drizzle – and on Friday there was no game between Australia and South Africa.
That prompted renewed calls to move the SCG Test to a timeslot more likely to be affected by rain.
Last summer, the late Shane Warne suggested Sydney could move Tests to Brisbane to host the first match of the season in early December.
But Shepherd said the SCG would not give up its timeslot in the New Year, despite agreeing the La Nina weather pattern of the past two years had brought adverse weather patterns at the ground into sharper focus.
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 supporters had had enough
The stands should be packed for Jane McGrath Day – one of the highlights of the cricket calendar every year – but the festivities have had to be postponed until Saturday due to the weather
The late Shane Warne put the problem to rest 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
‘This is the tradition. We just have to live with the climate,’ Shepherd told SEN on Saturday.
‘We get a bit of rain here and sometimes it disrupts play, but we just have to get over it.
‘It’s going to be a good season next year because I think we’re going to have an El Nino (weather pattern) next year, which means we’re going to be in the middle of a drought.’
After bad light forced two stoppages in the first day’s game against South Africa, Shepherd met with Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley.
While Hockley previously said he hoped updates to the SCG’s floodlights would prevent similar delays in the future, Shepherd suggested Sydney could follow Adelaide’s lead and host a day-night Quiz with a pink ball.
The brighter color of the pink ball makes it more visible than the traditional red ball and allows play to continue in the dark under the lights.
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
Star Australian batsman Marnus Labuschagne does not believe pink ball Tests are the answer going forward in Sydney
‘We can go day-nighter or we can just use a pink ball for the whole game,’ said Shepherd.
‘The alternative is if you have that kind of light issue at the end of the day, just have a bag of pink balls in there and replace them.’
At stumps on the first day, Australian batter Marnus Labuschagne pushed the idea of replacing the red ball with a pink one as the balls do not react the same way when bowled.
But Shepherd said the fans have to be considered.
‘In my view, cricket and all elite sports live on the fans,’ he said.
‘The show must go on. We must do everything we can to ensure that we do not have that (stoppages) happen again.’