Cricket fans call for New Year’s Test to be moved away from Sydney after yet another rain disaster – and Shane Warne predicted the problem last summer
- Jane McGrath Day festivities at SCG postponed due to inclement weather
- Fans want to hold New Year’s test in another city after years of problems
- Shane Warne suggested Sydney hold the first test of the summer
Sydney’s habit of turning on wet weather for the annual New Year’s Test has finally worn off with fans and pundits, many of whom are calling for the event to be moved out of the port city.
Continued rain saw play halted on Friday without a single ball being bowled after downpours and poor lighting due to overcast conditions robbed fans of more than 50 overs games during the first two days of the Australia v South Africa match at the SCG.
Festivities for Jane McGrath Day – one of the highlights of the cricket calendar down under, which sees spectators dressed in pink to raise money for the fight against breast cancer – had to be postponed and fans resorted to playing their own impromptu game behind one of the stands on the famous ground.
The only people to see spectators take to the SCG turf on Friday were umpires and ground crews as play was washed out by torrential rain – and many fans have had enough
The stands should have been packed for Jane McGrath Day – one of the highlights of the cricket calendar – but the festivities had to be postponed to Saturday due to the weather
It’s far from the first time the action has wiped out, with meteorologist Thomas Saunders pointing out that rain has affected Test cricket 64 per cent of the time in Sydney over the past eight years.
ABC sports analyst Ric Finlay also found that 25 of the last 110 days of Test cricket played at the SCG have been wiped out – compared to just nine of the 115 days at the MCG.
Last summer, spin king Shane Warne suggested a possible solution when he noted that “it just always seems to rain in the test match.”
“Imagine if the tourists, and any opponents, came here to Sydney and had 10 days in port to relax, get ready and then play the first Test in Sydney instead of the fourth Test,” he said .
Shane Warne put his finger on the problem last summer when he suggested Sydney hold the first test of the summer rather than the last because ‘it always seems to rain’ in early January
That call to get the New Year’s clash out of the port city is now being taken up by many fans on social media.
‘Six of the last 7 test matches at SCG interrupted by rain, 4 of the last 7 draws. @CricketAus if it doesn’t work try something else,” Sean O’Reilly tweeted.
“Apart from the usual chatter between the states and the fanciful idea of covered stadiums, there is definitely some serious conversation to be had about the timing of the Sydney Test in the future,” wrote Brett Sprigg.
Many fans are calling for Warne’s plan to be implemented, but Cricket Australia’s CEO has poured cold water on the prospect
A diehard cricket managed to see the brighter side of another day lost to terrible weather in the port city
“Befitting a city that loses more Test cricket to rain than Manchester, the SCG has even managed to sell advertising space on its big old rain covers,” added Isabelle Westbury.
“Apart from the fact that it always rains, the pitch doesn’t break easily and it’s mostly a dead rubber, the Sydney Test is a great event,” joked Daniel Cherny.
‘Petition to move the pink test to a better climate. Hobart,” added another fan.
However, Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley has shot down any prospect of Sydney swapping the New Year’s Test with another city.
‘It’s an iconic event on the sporting calendar, people plan their entire holiday around it. We saw 30,000 people come out yesterday,” he said Thursday.
‘Especially now with the pink Test in its 15th year and the positive impact. So much is happening on the ground, but of course we all want to see as much play as possible.’