Why Cricket Australia Made A Big Mistake With The Big Bash Final
Tim Bailey has been telling Sydneysiders for days that there will be drips and drops across our rooftops – and plenty of it – all weekend.
The big wet duly arrived on Friday morning and looks to be staying the journey.
It's welcome rain given the summer we've endured, but it's turned up at the worst possible time for Cricket Australia and those involved with the Big Bash League.
Rain is to cricket what petrol is to a diesel engine -- catastrophic. It's one of the few sports in the world that simply can't go ahead when the skies open.
The show must go on? Not cricket.
There is more chance of Shane Warne and Steve Waugh sharing a two-man tent than BBL finalists Sydney Sixers and Melbourne Stars completing a full match at the SCG on Saturday night.
So the question is: armed with all this weather information, why did Cricket Australia refuse to switch the Big Bash final to Melbourne, where the weekend forecast for Saturday is for a top of 29 degrees and three to four percent chance of rain (it's 100 percent in Sydney)?
CA boss Kevin Roberts explained it this way: “We really wanted to respect the position of the BBL final. The BBL is one of the premier sporting competitions in the world, and you don't play with the rules of a premier sporting competition."
With all due respect, we're not talking La Liga or the NFL here.
The Big Bash is only nine years old and it's hardly steeped in rich tradition. In fact, that's one of the BBL's attractions.
It can be flexible. It can be unorthodox. It can make brave decisions on the run without fear of upsetting the traditionalists because there are no rooted-in-cement traditions in T2O cricket.
T20 cricket is all about entertainment.
So how entertaining will it be for 40,000 fans to watch the covers come on and off at the SCG on Saturday night?
And think of the broadcaster (would someone please think of the broadcaster!) now flicking through Eddie Murphy's back catalogue to work out which movie to show if/when their biggest game of the entire 61-game competition is washed out.
Televising live sport is not an inexpensive exercise, and the broadcaster would be out of pocket to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars. They are not happy.
And neither are the Melbourne Stars.
They finished first on the ladder and deserve their spot in the final, yet flew into grey old Sydney on Friday knowing a wash-out will hand the Sixers the title on virtue of the men in magenta reaching the decider first.
What sort of rule is that?
There's not even a reserve day slated, as you'd expect with any 'premier competition'.
Cricket Australia has really trod on its stumps with this one.