International cricket to stay at SCG

Published: Friday, October 22, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Sydney:Test and international one-day cricket matches will stay at the Sydney Cricket Ground after efforts to seek a move to the bigger Olympic stadium, Cricket NSW has said.

The future of elite-level cricket at the SCG had been in doubt after the state cricket body announced last July it was putting to tender the venue for major cricket matches in New South Wales between the Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust and Ogden IFC, which operates the Olympic stadium, in Sydney's west.

The trust has been the custodian of the traditional cricket venue in Australia's largest city for 128 years.

But cricket traditionalists were breathing a collective sigh of relief on Friday when Cricket NSW said it had decided to stick with the tried and tested ground in Sydney's east until 2010.

Cricket NSW said the SCG had offered improved facilities and a competitive price to secure the tender.

"The board of Cricket NSW is unanimous in its decision that playing international cricket at the SCG for the next five years is best for the game's future," Cricket NSW chairman Bob Horsell said in a statement on Friday.

At least three of the five Sheffield Shield state matches and two of the five state one-day matches would be played at the SCG each year from the start of the 2005-2006 season, he said.

Some of those not played at the SCG may be played at the Olympic stadium in Homebush, Horsell said.

"Every Australian cricketer aspires to play Test and one-cay international matches at the SCG and now that dream will be maintained," Sydney Cricket Ground Trust chairman Rodney Cavalier said.

Currently all Test and one-day internationals in Sydney are played at the SCG, which holds 44,000 spectators, while the 83,500-capacity Olympic stadium has hosted two domestic one-day matches over the past two seasons.

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