'Invest in better covers': Calls for SCG overhaul after embarrassing sponsor leak

‘Invest in better covers’: Calls for SCG overhaul after embarrassing sponsor leak

Covers at the Sydney cricket ground have come under fire after an embarrassing attempt to capitalize on the rain backfired when water seeped into the square.

The Daily Telegraph reported that new NRMA-sponsored wet weather blankets that caused the leak were finally banned on day four after the third day washout.

SCG pitch staff have been forced back to their usual blank set of blankets after the set ironically emblazoned with NRMA Insurance failed in their duty to keep the pitch and square dry.

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Cricket Australia had asked SCG pitch staff to use the new covers bearing the name of one of their partners, NRMA and the slogan on the pitch cover read ironically, help.

The damage was not disastrous and did not delay the game, but the seams around the logo would have split, causing water to seep under the covers and extra work for field staff.

SCG staff used extra hair dryers in a frantic attempt to dry out the pitches and wicket surrounding the pitch, before play finally started at 1.45pm on day four.

Cricket Australia and Venues NSW have released a joint statement to explain the leaked blankets.

“Ground staff and the cricket operations team have confirmed that there was no delay in play due to a small leak in the blankets,” the statement read.

Ground personnel stand near blankets placed on the ground during a rain delay at the SCG.Source: AFP

“The delay to play today was caused by a small section of soggy grass off the wicket square where water had pooled overnight. SCG had 56mm of rain overnight and that morning.

“NRMA Insurance had no involvement in the construction of the covers or the requirement that they be used for this game and ground staff had no issues with the new set of covers.”

There was a window of time on Saturday morning where there was an opportunity to get back on the pitch, but there wasn’t enough time to prepare the pitch before another crash arrived.

Isa Guha called for better blankets in light of Sydney’s constant rain during the New Year’s Test.Source: AFP

Ground staff were frustrated at not being able to use their own blankets, which they know well, while the final lunchtime inspection meant the turf had to be moved to fix the elk.

Isu Guha led a chorus of commentators calling for improved covers to cover the entire wicket and called for a review of protective equipment in light of the embarrassing incident.

“You would think they could invest in better covers,” Guha said on Fox.

“You have the hover covers at Lord’s that come off very quickly and then at The Oval they literally cover the whole floor across the plaza for times like this where the bowlers are looking around the ends of the field where it can be a bit dangerous.

“I’m quite amazed he’s not better equipped.”

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