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Cricket NSW objects to plans for drop-in pitch at the SCG

Cricket NSW objects to plans for drop-in pitch at the SCG
July 2, 2019

Cricket New South Wales has expressed its opposition to drop-in pitches being introduced at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) in favour of the current natural turf.

With the SCG hosting AFL and NRL fixtures, the SCG Trust has established a Drop-in Wicket Committee to consider the potential adoption of drop-in wicket technology.

With the AFL reportedly calling for the SCG Trust to introduce the technology, Cricket NSW has expressed its disdain for the proposal.

In a submission to the Committee it has written ”the move to a drop-in wicket with lifeless uniformity will create the risk of boring cricket that becomes unattractive to SCG members and attendees and the loss of the premier status of the SCG among Australian cricket grounds.

“We speak not just for cricketers in the state of NSW but for the game more broadly when we strongly advise the SCG Trust to heed the lessons from other capitals. Having a diverse range of pitches at different venues in Australia has been an integral part of Australian cricket for more than a hundred years. It has contributed to the success of the national team and continues to be a major component of producing world class players.”

Cricket NSW noted that Australia has only lost two of the past 25 Tests at the SCG and said it feels cricketers and fans alike will want to see this record continue.

The body also pointed out that the natural deterioration of the SCG’s current playing surface tests cricketers’ full range of skills, adding that drop-in pitches would not provide such a tough examination.

The Sydney Swans AFL team plays its home matches at the SCG and has previously expressed its preference for drop-in technology due to concerns over the centre square of the natural turf.

Drop-in wickets are currently used at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), Adelaide Oval and Perth’s Optus Stadium while the SCG and the Gabba are the only major Test venues in Australia not to have switched to a drop-in pitch.

The MCG pitch was last year handed a ‘poor’ rating by the International Cricket Council following the fourth Test of the Ashes series between Australia and England.

Even if the SCG Trust is minded to introduce drop-in wickets, it has been reported that the design of the it’s stands would make it difficult for the drop-in trays to be transported into the venue.

It is believed the vehicular entrance to the playing surface at the Paddington end is not wide enough to tow on a similar-sized cricket square to that of the MCG and Adelaide Oval.

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24th October 2018 - Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust names Kerrie Mather as first female Chief Executive

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6th January 2017 - Cricket Australia Chief Executive believes BBL can’t beat Test cricket

25th February 2016 - Perth Stadium cricket wicket testing begins

21st January 2015 - Cricket NSW plans turnkey Cricket and Community Centres across the State

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