<
>

Sydney Sixers worried about rain-affected BBL final 'lottery'

Josh Hazlewood celebrates with his teammates after taking the wicket of Pete Handscomb Getty Images

The Sydney Sixers are concerned about the potential for the Big Bash final turning into the lottery of a heavily shortened match with a poor forecast threatening to ruin the showpiece occasion at the SCG on Saturday as well as the fundraising Bushfire Bash that will precede it.

Given current predictions, even a reduced game may be too much to ask with significant rain - much needed for the region - forecast from Thursday and right through the weekend. The Bureau of Meteorology is currently saying a 90% chain of rain for Sydney on Saturday with up to 25 millimeters possible.

An abandoned final would see the Sydney Sixers taking the title - their opponents, either the Melbourne Stars or Sydney Thunder will be known on Thursday - with a minimum of five overs per side needed to constitute a match. There is no reserve day for the final.

The double-header is already a sellout - although a few tickets may be released later in the week - with the bushfire relief match in the afternoon featuring a host of former greats including Brian Lara, Wasim Akram, Ricky Ponting and Shane Warne.

"You can't do anything about it. I've spent a lot of days sitting here at the SCG watching it rain, especially in Test match cricket. I think second place would be more worried than us," Josh Hazlewood said.

"The one thing we're worried about is getting one of those five, six, seven-over games. We either probably want it completely washed out or get the full game in. That's probably the only worry."

"It [a short game] certainly is a bit of a lottery for sure. If you've got five overs, a batter hits a couple of balls out of the ground it's game over just about or one bowler bowls a good over it's the same result. It is a bit of a lottery but that's what it comes down to sometimes."

Having earned a longer lead-in to the final, Hazlewood said that the Sixers would likely use their training days to work through a few potential scenarios for rain-reduced matches.

"Just with that threat of rain we'll probably practice a few of those, not super overs, but pretend you've only got one over in the game and batting again is the same, pretending you've only got 10 or 12 balls to face. A lot of good batting orders have those players at the top anyway so it's not necessarily going to change the order too much it's just how you bowl knowing you might only have six balls to make an impact on the final. It's going to be tough."

The Sixers do have the advantage of having played - and won - a Super Over this season having tied their match against the Thunder before winning the decider.

"We were pretty fortunate we had that experience early on in the season," Sean Abbott said. "We can definitely call upon the conversations we had after that game. That was an advantage we've had."

The feeling in the Sixers' camp is that it would be fun to have a Sydney derby as the deciding match of the season. "We've already sold out the game with the bushfire relief game beforehand. A Sydney derby would be great, especially as they had the Melbourne derby last year, but I'm just really excited to play a home final," Abbott said.

However, Hazlewood fancies the Stars to end their four-match losing streak in the Challenger at the MCG. "I think Stars will bounce back and get the win down there on their home ground. But I don't mind either way to be fair."