Cricket NSW chief executive Lee Germon has shot down South Australia's bid to steal the New Year's Test away from Sydney as 'ridiculous'. SA Premier Peter Malinauskas sparked drama this week when he said the Adelaide Oval should host the Test match in the first week of the New Year, which is traditionally played in Sydney.
The SCG Test has been disrupted by rain and poor weather numerous times in recent years and has lost the most days to rain out of any venue around the world. The third Test between Australia and South Africa finished in a draw last month after a large chunk of time was lost.
There have been numerous calls for Cricket Australia to alter the schedule and move the Sydney Test to earlier in the summer when there isn't usually as much rain. Perth and Adelaide have been suggested as better venues for the New Year's Test due to a lower likelihood of rain in early January.
On Friday, Malinauskas told reporters in Canberra: "In South Australia, we've got an amazing record of people turning up to sporting events. We often have bigger crowds than Sydney and that's despite having a far smaller population.
"South Australians are passionate about their sport, they love their cricket, myself included. So we stand ready to work with Cricket Australia to improve their product to more people around the country."
But the bid to pinch the New Year's Test hasn't gone down well with Cricket NSW boss Germon. He told reporters in Sydney: "My initial reaction was one of not believing it.
"It's a ridiculous notion that the New Year's Test should go to Adelaide when it's so much part of the culture ... to have the New Year's Test here in Sydney. We will just be telling Cricket Australia there's no way the Sydney Test should be moving.
“I would argue the Sydney Test holds a special place no matter the weather. Most of the memorable moments over the last decade of Australian cricket have been held at the Sydney Cricket Ground, and we’ve had a number of results.
“The Sydney Test has become synonymous with the McGrath Foundation through the highly successful ‘Pink Test’ initiative. It also drives significant benefits to tourism in Sydney and the state of NSW."
Michael Clarke responds to New Year's Test furore
Rain has had an impact on the Sydney Test six times in the past seven years. But Gorman says that's no reason to tinker with the summer schedule.
There have been 25 days completely lost due to poor weather in Sydney over the years, a mark that is way higher than any other ground in Australia and many around the world. Cricket Australia is expected to decide the scheduling of next summer's Test matches at a board meeting next week.
Speaking earlier on Friday, NSW great Michael Clarke also shot down the idea of relocating the New Year's Test. “Not happening,” Clarke said on Sky Sports Radio.
“(You) can’t take Boxing Day from the MCG and you can’t take New Year’s away from the SCG, (they are an) absolute no-brainer. The day that stops is the day Test cricket is finished in this country.
“(Adelaide’s) Test match is perfect, when they’ve got it, under lights - it’s perfect, it’s working so well. Why would they want to change that?”
And NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet also ridiculed the notion, taking a brutal shot at South Australia in the process. “A five-day washed out Test in Sydney is much better than a five-day Test in Adelaide,” he said. “Because at the end of it, you’ve spent five days in Adelaide.”
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