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April 29, 2011
South Australia could host Sheffield Shield matches away from Adelaide Oval for the first time, if the SACA gets the green light from its members for plans to redevelop the venue and share it with AFL clubs. The SACA chairman Ian McLachlan confirmed Glenelg Oval was being prepared as a secondary venue, like the Junction Oval in Melbourne.
"We would like to be playing all Shield matches here (Adelaide Oval) but I can't guarantee all Shield matches here," McLachlan told the Advertiser. "We have had Glenelg organised as a No. 2 ground.
"What they have found in other states is that opening up the MCG for a Shield match is not necessarily the best thing to do; so they have been playing them in other places. In Sydney, they play in front of quite nice crowds in other parts. We have looked at Shield matches in Mount Gambier, matches in other parts of the state."
South Australia have never held a Sheffield Shield match anywhere but the Adelaide Oval, and the only first-class match they have ever hosted away from the venue was against Lord Hawke's XI at Unley Oval in 1903. The state team played two one-day games at Football Park, the main AFL venue in Adelaide, in 1986-87, but since then they have not strayed from Adelaide Oval.
SACA members will vote on the proposed redevelopment at a special general meeting on Monday. The former SACA chief executive Mike Deare this week urged members to reject the plans, as he believed the oval was being undervalued and cricket would lose out to football in the joint deal.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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