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International Twenty20 heading to ANZ Stadium

International Twenty20 heading to ANZ Stadium
March 12, 2010

International cricket in Sydney will move from the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) for the first time in 128 years under a new tenancy agreement struck by Cricket New South Wales (CNSW).

The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that CNSW is set to announce a deal to move one Twenty20 international per summer to ANZ Stadium from 2011. The SCG has hosted every international cricket match played in Sydney (outside of the unofficial World Series Cricket) dating back to the Australia-England Test of 1882.

CNSW is believed to have initially wanted to stage a 50-over international match at ANZ Stadium, as well as the Twenty20 fixture, but major Cricket Australia (CA) major sponsor Commonwealth Bank (CBA) expressed displeasure at matches being shifted to ANZ Stadium.

CBA is naming rights sponsors of CA's home one-day international series, and its sponsorship deal with the national cricketing body is understood to be worth $20 million.

CA had already expressed its unease about Cricket NSW entering a venue agreement with ANZ Stadium, however it appears a compromise has been reached. Twenty20 internationals in Australia are sponsored by fast food chain KFC, ensuring no corporate clashes over the venue switch.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the move to shift a Sydney international away from the SCG for the first time in more than a century will upset cricketing purists. CA, too, would have preferred international matches to remain at the historic Moore Park venue, but CNSW has the right to decide which grounds will hold matches played within its state.

The International Cricket Council's Executive Committee passed ANZ Stadium fit to host international matches at an inspection last month despite unusually short boundaries that only just satisfied the qualification criteria.

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