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SCG in fight to retain Ashes Test

Sydney Cricket Ground
The picturesque cricket ground has also staged rugby and Australian rules

The famous Sydney Cricket Ground could lose its Ashes Test in 2011 as doubts resurface about venues in the city.

Test cricket has been played at the SCG since 1882 but the ground's capacity is 44,000, compared to the 80,000-seat ANZ Stadium, home to the 2000 Olympics.

Cricket NSW considered switching to the bigger venue in 2004 before settling on a new deal with the SCG, but that ends in September and new talks are planned.

"It's about finding the best deal going forward," NSW boss Dave Gilbert said.

"I know Test cricket will be a difficult one to do at this stage - and you have to weigh up tradition and history and the drama at the SCG - but when I was a kid growing up at the SCG, rugby league Test matches and union Test matches were only ever at the SCG, but not anymore.

"If you're a 15-year-old kid, you've only ever known big sport events to be played at ANZ Stadium - that's not meant to be an inflammatory comment, it's a fact.

"ANZ is focused on getting a major cricket match to its venue. If you take the heat and emotion out of it, as CEO of Cricket NSW, I have to do what is best for cricket to generate revenue to keep this game going, and this is what this process is about."

The Olympic stadium is situated in Homebush Bay in the western suburbs of Sydney, with the SCG more centrally located, some two miles from the Central Business District.

606: DEBATE

NSW have played Twenty20 matches at the Olympic stadium for the last two years, but Australia batsman Simon Katich was unsure about the possibility of an Ashes Test being held there.

"It would be a surprise if there wasn't an Ashes Test at the SCG but who knows?" he said. "The game's changing all the time, so you never know which direction it could head."

However, the SCG Trust, which looks after the ground and also the adjacent Sydney Football Stadium, remains confident of keeping major internationals at the historic ground.

"There has been no discussion with Cricket NSW at this stage so we're not sure what they're bringing to the table, but we look forward to all international cricket remaining at the SCG," spokesman Greg Campbell said.



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see also
SCG's Test future in doubt
16 Jul 04 |  Cricket
Test cricket will remain at SCG
22 Oct 04 |  Cricket
Vaughan enjoying the quiet life
04 Nov 09 |  TV and Radio
Ashes venues - Sydney
27 Oct 06 |  England


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