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Football Damage to Cricket Pitches Fixed Simply

It might be time to begin referring to the Sydney Cricket Ground as Eagle Farm, although it does not seem that the turf situation at the oval is nearly as severe.

Playing football on it just a little while back made the SCG unacceptable for cricket.

The Roosters were training at SCG ahead of the 2019 NRL Grand Final, ironically, to keep the surface at ANZ Stadium in the best possible shape.

NSW will not be able to use SCG for their home Sheffield Shield opener because the pitch is NDG.

No darn good.

Some person or persons managed to keep the less-than-perfect-pitch conditions secret from the cricketers.

“We were unaware there was a problem until this morning,” Lee Germon, the NSW chief executive, said. “Our cricketers love playing at the SCG, which is the traditional home of NSW cricket. It is a great disappointment to our players and everyone at Cricket NSW that we can no longer play there over the next week.”

Maybe it is time to consider some purpose-built stadiums for the major Australian sports codes.

No one uses golf courses to play cricket, although the putting greens at Royal Melbourne would make one wicked place to play croquette.

We would not object to jumps Thoroughbred racing being held on a golf course, but the golfers and the groundskeepers would certainly object.

It is one thing to play Aussie Rules and rugby on the same patch of ground, but cricket requires at least the semblance of a uniform surface, so using cricket ovals for football is a bad way to go about achieving that uniformity.

Cricket can adapt in some ways. Witness ODI and Twenty20 formats, but unpredictable bounces from a bowl landing in the divots from a football game is the sort of thing for which no adaptation seems acceptable.

NSW are probably going to play their match with Tasmania at Drummoyne Oval and the Marsh Cup match with Taz later in October might also need to find an alternate venue.

SCG has sworn off drop-in pitches, a nod to tradition that put us in mind of Chicago’s Wrigley field of MLB, where tradition prevented the addition of lighting and the ability to play night games well beyond when the rest of MLB were playing under the lights.