NSW to push for final of T20 World Cup – with a major upgrade of the SCG to follow

12/09/2019 Posted by admin

The runaway train of the Big Bash League has convinced the NSW government to make a bold play for the men’s final of the World Twenty20 when it’s held in Australia in 2020.
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And should Sydney snatch it out of Melbourne’s grasp, expect the wise souls of the Sydney Cricket Ground Trust to push for new Brewongle-Churchill or O’Reilly stands at the beloved ground.

The significance of a full house at the Sixers-Thunders clash on Saturday night should not be overlooked.

For so long, Sydney has been branded “the toughest sporting market in the world”. Those banks of empty seats tell the score, or at least explain how bad the traffic is on the M5.

The Big Bash bucks the trend. All of the Thunder’s four matches at Spotless Stadium have been sold-out. The Sixers have been getting around 30,000 at the SCG.

Real beneficiary: The Sydney Cricket Ground.

So there can be no dispute: Sydneysiders have an insatiable appetite for Big Bash cricket. They’re mad for it. Gagging for it. It’s the Messina of Sydney sport.

Sensing this, the NSW government is eagerly awaiting Cricket Australia to formally start negotiations for World Cup matches. The women’s tournament will be held in February, 2020, with the men’s to be held in September and October. Imagine how popular the game will be by then.

With a capacity of more than 100,000, the MCG is considered an obvious choice for the men’s final.

It has hosted the finals of the last one-day international world cups, in 1992 and 2015, but that shouldn’t mean other states can’t push for the decider in 2020.

The real beneficiary of a Sydney final would be the SCG.

After NSW Premier Mike Baird took the side of NRL clubs and snubbed an upgrade of Allianz Stadium – instead announcing a major upgrade of ANZ Stadium with one at Parramatta already under way – the new focus is the SCG.

An upgrade of the Brewongle-Churchill stands will cost about $250 million. The O’Reilly Stand will cost about $100 million. That will take the capacity of the ground to beyond 54,000.

“We are about to begin our formal engagement with all states and territories,” a CA spokesperson said. “We are determined to take this exciting form of cricket to as many Australians as possible. That means there are many opportunities for stadiums, and their local communities, right around the country to put their hand up to host the world’s best cricketers.”

Come to Sydney, world’s best cricketers! We love our T20. Mad for it. And we have Messina.

Warne’s sledging agenda

Shane Warne’s continued attacks on Steve O’Keefe during the Sydney Test have left the Australian spinner’s family and friends angry and confused.

Under fire: Steve O’Keefe celebrates dismissing Misbah-ul-Haq. Photo: Getty Images

Just what is his problem with the affable and likeable New South Welshman? There seems to be more to it than the Victoria-NSW thing.

Warne wants a leg-spinner sent to India alongside offie Nathan Lyon, but his vicious criticism in the Channel Nine commentary box – as well as outside of it – on the final day was very personal.

“It’s the first one he’s turned all match,” Warne sneered when O’Keefe took one of his three crucial wickets as Australia completed a series whitewash against Pakistan at the SCG.

Warne is apparently on huge money to call cricket for Nine, with chatter at the network suggesting he’s on a day rate of more than five figures.

He’s not being paid to dish up platitudes and niceties. And we shall defer to Warne’s cricket judgment any day of the week.

But the regular sledges directed at O’Keefe before and during the Test suggested there was something more at play. It was reminiscent of his attacks not that long ago on fast bowler Mitchell Starc as “soft”.

We’re told O’Keefe has brushed off Warne’s comments, preferring to concentrate on some red-ball cricket to ensure he’s on the plane to India next month.

He will step out for Manly-Warringah at Manly Oval on Saturday to further his case for the Indian tour.

As a left-arm orthodox spin bowler, who has taken 222 first-class wickets at an average of 23, his selection is surely a no-brainer for the sub-continent … despite Warne’s campaign to ensure he’s not there.

Bring back Vonnie!

It’s the burning question of the rugby league off-season.

No, not which club will sign Ben Hunt, whether Kieran Foran will be cleared to play for the Warriors or if there will be one last off-field incident before the end March.

Most importantly, will the great Yvonne “Vonnie” Sampson be appearing on Fox Sports in round one?

Switch: Yvonne Sampson, pictured here with Wayne Bennett, has made the switch to Fox Sports. Photo: James Brickwood

Sampson made the switch from Nine to Fox Sports during the off-season, but Nine claims there was a six-month non-compete clause in her deal and that threatens to bench her for the season kick-off on March 2.

All parties remain tight-lipped about the issue. It’s in the hands of the lawyers, as they say in the classics.

But our information is a compromise is likely and she will take her place on the Fox Sports panel.

I’m slightly biased but let’s hope so: she makes watching the footy better.

Bad news for “brother” Bell

Celebrity accountant Anthony Bell’s long line of sporting star mates are privately shocked and dismayed about reports this week concerning his marriage with TV presenter Kelly Landry.

Bell did not appear in Waverley Court on Thursday but agreed, through his lawyer Chris Murphy, to the terms of an apprehended violence order preventing him from coming near Landry for 12 hours after he has been drinking alcohol or taking illicit substances.

Murphy said Bell never wanted to see Landry again and wanted to avoid a “nasty court case” that could harm his children if she were cross-examined in a hearing.

It’s no secret that Bell is extremely close to former Australian captain Michael Clarke, who described him in his recently released autobiography as a “brother”.

As many reporters know, Bell is quickly on the phone trying to smooth the waters whenever something critical of Clarke is written.

Clarke wrote in his book: “In tough times, I am always able to rely on him, and he proved that in spades when he smuggled me away from the media’s eyes during my break-up [to fiancee Lara Bingle]. He came to Bondi and parked in the garage. I slipped down through an internal lift and climbed into the boot of his car. He exited into the media circus. With all the cameras and microphones on him, he said, ‘No, Michael’s not in the house’. That’s right – I was in the boot.”

Five cheers for Tomic

They always pick on the fat kid.

Normally dismissive of those heathens of the press, tennis wild child Bernard Tomic was so proud of stripping five kilograms in the space of a week that he actively went about telling reporters in Sydney all about it whenever he spotted them.

Tomic was stung by claims he was unfit at the Brisbane International and turned up in Sydney brandishing a lighter frame. “You can say last week I was fat,” he said.

Maybe he could pass on some tips to one NRL club we’re told is making its cheerleaders weigh-in before they make the cut for the upcoming season.

What next? Skinfolds? Probably.

Believe me because I know it: they always pick on the fat kid.

The quote

“A school teacher who can fight – every delinquent kid in the world will take notice.” – Boxing promoter Bob Arum on Jeff Horn, the Queenslander who will step into the ring with Arum’s superstar fighter Manny Pacquiao in April.

Night to remember: Jeff Horn and Manny Pacquiao. Photo: Getty Images

Thumbs up

It was one of the most succinct takedowns we’ve seen of US President-elect Donald Trump. No, it didn’t come from Meryl Streep at the Golden Globes but Nick Kyrgios and the “F— Donald Trump” t-shirt he wore after the Fast4 tournament. New-found respect.

Thumbs down

Regardless of what you think about James Hird, the finger-pointing about who’s to blame for his suspected overdose has been ugly and unnecessary. So, too, the media intrusion since the incident happened. Hird is no saint – as some have painted him – but he deserves some space.

It’s a big weekend for … the 80,000 people who will cram Moore Park for the Big Bash derby between the Sixers and the Thunder, and the A-League derby between Sydney FC and the Wanderers. Suggested transport: helicopter.

It’s an even bigger weekend for … Chris Lynn, who is expected to make his debut for Australia in the ODI match against Pakistan at the Gabba on Friday. To steal a line from Jamiroquai, it will be “Virtual Lynnsanity”. (Sorry, second week back. They’ll get better).

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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