Cricket NSW explores the option of moving games to other stadia

Posted By: Staff

Sydney, Nov.12 (ANI): Cricket NSW is again exploring the option to move some of its international cricket away from the Sydney Cricket Ground as early as the summer of 2010-11.

The Australian understands that the ANZ Stadium at Homebush has put in a tender to host a limited number of Australian one-day international and Twenty20 games.

NSW chief executive officer David Gilbert has refused to rule out transferring Tests away from their traditional home if a deal cannot be struck with the SCG, but said it was highly unlikely.

The state cricket boss said he would speak to the Stadium and Trust management in the coming weeks and hoped to bed down a deal before the end of the year.

Gilbert said NSW had played 16 limited-over matches at the Homebush stadium and attracted an average of 16,000 fans a game.

Gilbert is keen to leverage the choice NSW has with venues to get a better offer.

The cricket boss negotiated a lucrative deal for the Blues four years ago by pitting the stadiums against each other and in the end the SCG won the rights to all international matches while ANZ Stadium was given a handful of limited-over state games.

Gilbert played down talk Tests could move and even ANZ Stadium admits it has not tendered for the five-day game.

However, the NSW cricket chief said that he could not guarantee Tests would always be played at the SCG.

"We are very aware of the history and tradition at the SCG and the fact it is widely regarded as the home of cricket, but the reality is it's a venue and we are a sport and both need each other, it's just what packages they come in," Gilbert said.

Managing director of ANZ Stadium, Daryl Kerry, said: "ANZ Stadium is excited by the prospect of hosting international cricket . . . Our focus is on Twenty20 and ODIs because these forms of the game have a natural fit with the stadium as major events with a broad audience appeal. In relation to Test cricket, that's a decision for Cricket NSW and we're happy to explore the opportunities."

NSW captain Simon Katich said he loved playing at the SCG, but the state side also enjoyed the chance to play at other venues.

In recent years the side has played at Newcastle, Drummoyne, Wollongong, Hurstville Oval and North Sydney Oval. (ANI)

Story first published: Thursday, November 12, 2009, 13:42 [IST]
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