When tradition takes a beating

Published: Thursday, August 5, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Sydney:Cricket administrators deciding whether to move cricket away from the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) must consider the full financial ramifications of any shift to a larger non-cricket venue, the SCG Board said.

Cricket New South Wales (NSW) has announced that the Sydney Cricket Ground Trust, custodians of the traditional cricket venue in Australia's largest city for 128 years, will have to submit a tender to host international cricket matches after September next year.

The tender process could lead to Test matches and One-day Internationals being moved to the Olympic stadium in Sydney's west from the 2005-06 cricket season.

Currently all Test and One-day Internationals in New South Wales are played at the SCG, which holds 44,000 spectators, but Cricket NSW's agreement with the Sydney Cricket Ground Trust expires on September 30, 2005.

The 83,500-capacity Olympic stadium has hosted two domestic One-day matches over the past two seasons.

In affirming its position to submit a tender for the retention of Test and One-day International matches at the SCG, the Trust said cricket administrators must look at the financial impact of the historic shift away from a venue regarded with affection throughout the cricket world.

"Cricket administrators should not allow themselves to be fooled by the line that a bigger capacity venue offers a better financial return," Trust chairman Rodney Cavalier said on Thursday.

Cricket NSW said the additional revenue generated by the tender will be pumped back into grass roots cricket in the state.

Cricket NSW said it was open to the possibility of splitting up Test matches and One-dayers between the two grounds.

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