Photo Credit: cricket.com.au
Cricket Australia has today confirmed the Bushfire Cricket Bash charity game will not go ahead at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday as the NSW capital braces for torrential rain this weekend.
The decision has been made in order to give the KFC BBL Final, which was set to follow the charity match, the best chance to go ahead as scheduled in front of a packed house at the SCG.
Cricket’s governing body is set to explore alternative options for the charity match now that it’s unable to be played as a curtain-raiser to the BBL decider between the Sydney Sixers and the winner of tomorrow night’s match between the Stars and the Thunder in Melbourne.
All publicly available tickets for the double header had already been snapped up earlier this week, with those who purchased tickets to be contacted by Ticketek on Thursday regarding adjusted gate and match timings as well as instructions to apply for a refund if required.
The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting 30 to 50mm of rain on Saturday. But with the risk of rain damaging the pitch, the same pitch as the BBL Final, and the outfield during the Bushfire Cricket Bash, CA has decided to move the charity match to ensure the best conditions are possible for the BBL|09 decider.
There is no reserve day available under the current tournament playing conditions but in the event of rain interrupting or delaying play, the BBL Final can be reduced to a five-overs per side contest at the very minimum to determine a winner.
However, if the match is completely washed out, the Sixers will be crowned BBL|09 champions as the hosts of the Final.
Sixers fast bowler Josh Hazlewood described five-over matches as a “lottery” and would rather see Saturday’s final washed out than play a shortened game.
“If you’ve got five overs, a batter hits a couple of balls out of the ground it’s game over just about or one bowler bowls a good over it’s the same result,” Hazlewood told reporters in Sydney this week.
“It is a bit of a lottery but that’s what it comes down to sometimes.
“The one thing we’re worried about is getting one of those five, six, seven-over games.
“We either probably want it completely washed out or get the full game in.
“I think second place would be more worried than us.”