AAP Other sport

Pitch concerns moves Shield match from SCG

By AAP Newswire

The SCG's surface is again under the spotlight after NSW were forced to move their first home Sheffield Shield match from the venue due to pitch concerns.

The Blues were meant to host Tasmania at the cricket ground in a match beginning Friday, but that will now likely be moved to Drummoyne Oval in Sydney's inner west.

Cricket NSW claims the damage was sustained when the Sydney Roosters trained on the pitch square in the lead up to the NRL grand final, meaning it won't be ready in time for Friday.

There is also doubt over whether the ground will be fit to host a one-day match between the Blues and Tigers next Tuesday.

A frustrated Cricket NSW claimed on Monday afternoon it was unaware of the issue until just hours earlier.

"It is a great disappointment to our players and everyone at Cricket NSW that we can no longer play there over the next week," Cricket NSW chief executive Lee Germon said.

"Our male players were looking forward to playing four of their five home Shield matches and a one-day match at the SCG this season, something that has rarely happened over the past decade or so.

"Our off-season training and planning was based squarely around the fact that most of our matches would be at the SCG this season, creating an extra buzz of excitement.

"It is important that our current and future international cricketers have the opportunity to play as much cricket as possible on the SCG."

The SCG Trust meanwhile denied the issue was with the Roosters' training, and said that session had been approved and no damage was done to the square.

Instead, they claimed the square was simply not ready at this point of the summer, with the further pitch from the members' stand the only one ready for the Shield match.

Their fear was had they played, the middle wickets set to be used for further domestic and international matches this summer could have been damaged.

Regardless, they insisted there were no concerns over the ground for the November 3 Twenty20 international between Australia and Pakistan.

The SCG's surface has been a regular point of concern due to Sydney's stadium shortage during several rebuilds around the city, with questions asked about the outfield at the end of last summer.

Work had begun on preparing the cricket square within hours of the Roosters' final NRL game of the season on the ground last month.