Shield rejig ensures NSW to play at SCG

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A tweak in the Sheffield Shield schedule has ensured NSW will play their first home game of the season at the SCG.

苏州夜网

The SCG Trust, Cricket NSW and Cricket (CA) have agreed on a solution to ensure there is no repeat of last summer, when Justin Langer was among those lamenting that a virtual Ashes selection trial between the Blues and Western was held at Hurtsville Oval.

There was an asterisk in the original 2018/19 Shield schedule next to the third-round clash between NSW and Tasmania, which is among the key fixtures that will shape the selection of ‘s Test XI to face India.

That first-class game, which will feature Test captain Tim Paine if the wicketkeeper is dropped from the national one-day side as has been speculated, was originally going to start a week after Saturday’s A-League derby at the SCG.

The Shield match will now begin on November 5, giving ground staff a couple of extra days to get the pitch ready.

“We’re really, really pleased,” NSW skipper Peter Nevill told reporters.

“We want to play as many games as we can at the SCG.”

Cricket NSW’s strong preference was always to host the Shield game at the SCG but Wagga Wagga was among other options canvassed as negotiations between the parties dragged on.

NSW hope to play their final two home games of the regular season, which start on February 23 and March 12, at the SCG but the demolition of Allianz Stadium means the oval is proving more in-demand than usual this summer.

The NSW Waratahs expect to play at least one Super Rugby match at the famed venue while Sydney FC are booked in to host four A-League fixtures at the ground.

The relationship between Cricket NSW and its landlord has proven prickly at times during recent years.

The Blues recorded what was effectively a loss at the SCG in 2015 because the surface was deemed unsafe and the Shield game was abandoned, only for former curator Tom Parker to claim match officials made the wrong call.

The Blues only hosted two games at the SCG last season, both in February, because the Test ground underwent its first full returfing in seven years.

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