Sydney: Sydney's Olympic Stadium was on Tuesday announced as the venue for a One-day cricket match early next year.
New South Wales (NSW) cricket chief executive David Gilbert said a domestic Limited Over match against South Australia would be staged at the home of the 2000 Olympics in February. NSW, the defending champions, will give the 80,000-capacity stadium its cricket christening on Sunday, February 16 against South Australia. Gilbert said he had expectations of a 20,000 crowd despite the fact that several top players would be missing because the match coincides with the World Cup in South Africa. A drop-in pitch, which will be inserted in January with the ground dimensions of 170 metres (yards) long and 128 metres wide had NSW and Australian captain Steve Waugh comparing it with the expansive Adelaide Oval. Gilbert said it was inevitable that the ground would eventually be used for International One-day games though the Australian Cricket Board was contractually bound to play its Sydney fixtures at the Sydney Cricket Ground until the 2004-05 season. "International cricket will come here sooner rather than later because how can you say no to 80,000 crowds and the income that produces for the game," Gilbert said. He said the stadium appealed as a One-day rather than Test venue and stressed the SCG would remain NSW's spiritual home. The stadium has recently had an A$ 80 million ($ 42 million) reconfiguration for Australian Football games and it has been named as the major venue for the Rugby World Cup in 2003. Last Saturday's Bledisloe Cup rugby match between Australia and New Zealand drew almost 80,000 fans at the stadium.
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