Australian cricket August 19, 2004

MCG could lose traditional one-day final

Wisden Cricinfo staff

The MCG has a storied past © Getty Images

The MCG could lose out on its annual one-day international if a South Australian proposal is approved by Cricket Australia. For many years, the MCG and the SCG, in Sydney, have staged a final each in the tri-series which is an integral part of the Australian summer, but declining attendances at the MCG have resulted in the South Australian Cricket Association asking for the Melbourne final to be rotated between the Adelaide Oval, the Gabba in Brisbane and the MCG.

SACA would like the new roster, which guarantees Sydney a final, to come into existence the season after next. According to the Melbourne's The Age, Cricket Victoria have cited extenuating circumstances for the drop in spectator interest - a wash-out one year, 44 degree temperatures in another, and a final without Australia.

Cricket Victoria has also refuted SACA's claim that it could stage the final more profitably by selling out the far smaller Adelaide Oval. Sydney finals are usually packed affairs, with the SCG's capacity being less than 50,000, but the MCG has found it difficult to pack in a full house (80,000) even when the more popular sides like England and India visit.

The Age quoted Geoff Tamblyn, Cricket's Australia chairman as saying, "Cricket Victoria will defend its position to host the final." The state is banking on the fact that it has an agreement with the MCG to provide at least eight days of international cricket each summer. Were the one-day final to be removed from the roster, there would be just seven such days on the calendar.