Cricket NSW blames Roosters as Shield match shifted from SCG

The Sydney Morning Herald Sports 1 month ago

The SCG will not be ready to host Friday's Sheffield Shield clash between NSW and Tasmania due to the Roosters' training prior to the NRL grand final, according to Cricket NSW.

Both the SCG Trust and Cricket NSW confirmed via statements on Monday that the match would likely be moved to Drummoyne Oval due to concerns about the wickets surrounding pitch number one, which had been slated to host Friday's match.

Roosters skipper Boyd Cordner trains on the SCG in the lead-up to the October 6 NRL grand final.

"The SCG pitch square was damaged when the Roosters trained on it a fortnight ago ahead of the NRL grand final and it is not fit to host a first class match," a Cricket NSW statement read.

"This has also left doubt over whether the SCG can host the Marsh One-Day Cup match against Tasmania on October 23."

The Roosters used the SCG as their primary training base - rather than their usual home at Kippax Lake across the road - prior to , stunting the preparation of the famous ground for Sheffield Shield fixtures.

"We were unaware there was a problem until this morning," Cricket NSW CEO Lee Germon said.

"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."

An SCG spokesman said matches for the remainder of the summer would have been in doubt if the NSW-Tasmania match wasn't moved.

"The SCG has worked with Cricket NSW to relocate this week’s Sheffield Shield match (October 18-21), most likely to Drummoyne Oval," an SCG spokesman said.

The NSW Blues were set to play their first home match of the Sheffield Shield campaign at the SCG following their opening win over Queensland.

"Unfortunately, the SCG’s pitch block is maturing and would be unable to host elite-level cricket this week without placing future fixtures at risk.

"Grounds staff had prepared pitch number one, closest to the Bill O’Reilly Stand, for the Sheffield Shield fixture.

"While the pitch itself is ready, the remainder of the wicket table needs more time for the summer grass to stabilise and grow-in. Any wear sustained by the normal traffic of a four-day cricket match could jeopardise the integrity of the SCG’s other eight pitches."

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