Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo
The Bushfire Cricket Bash fundraising match will now take place at Junction Oval in Melbourne on Sunday as part of a double-header with the Australia-England T20I after it was relocated from the SCG due to the heavy rain forecast for Sydney over the weekend.
Torrential rain, which the region desperately needs, is forecast for Sydney from Friday right through the weekend with up to 50mm predicted for Saturday, when the double-header was due to take place alongside the Big Bash final.
While the forecast suggests there is every chance the BBL final will also be a washout - which would hand the Sydney Sixers the title - Cricket Australia wants to ensure that no damage is done to the SCG in case a match can be played. Five overs per side would constitute a game.
"It's been a whirlwind 24-hours, but we're really proud to say that there will be four fantastic games of cricket held over the weekend of The Big Appeal," Cricket Australia CEO Kevin Roberts said. "We have moved the Bushfire Bash from the SCG because we want to provide every opportunity for the BBL09 final to be played on Saturday night. We have no doubt that the SCG pitch and outfield will be in great condition for the final."
The rescheduling of the relief match has required some changes to the squad with Shane Warne now no longer available to captain a team with Adam Gilchrist taking over. It has also been confirmed that Courtney Walsh will be involved in a playing capacity having originally been down to be a coach. Tim Paine will coach the Gilchrist XI.
The match, which will be 10-overs per side due to start at 3.15pm, is still set to include Brian Lara, Wasim Akram and Yuvraj Singh among a host of names. The T20I will be brought forward to start at 11.40am.
The fundraising weekend will now include four matches - two T20Is, the Bushfire Bash and the BBL final - with all profits going to the Red Cross appeal.
There is no reserve day for the BBL final at the SCG, something that the Sydney Thunder captain Callum Ferguson said probably needed to be addressed. The Thunder will play the Melbourne Stars on Thursday and whichever team gets through would need the weather in their favour to have any chance of taking the title.
"I absolutely believe there needs to be a reserve day," Ferguson said. "At the moment it is what it is, and I believe we've got the right system barring maybe a reserve day, we need to make sure that we give it every chance of being played."
Bushfire Bash squad Ricky Ponting (capt), Adam Gilchrist (capt), Alex Blackwell, Brad Haddin, Brett Lee, Brian Lara, Courtney Walsh, Dan Christian, Matthew Hayden, Luke Hodge, Justin Langer, Phoebe Litchfield, Andrew Symonds, Nick Riewoldt, Elyse Villani, Shane Watson, Yuvraj Singh and Wasim Akram.