Cricket releases MCG for AFL grand final - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cricket releases MCG for AFL grand final

06/08/2010 07:54:35 PM Comments (0)

A day after the AFL threatened to move next year's grand final from the MCG, Cricket Victoria (CV) have confirmed the ground will be available.

CV released a statement on Friday night, saying their board had decided earlier in the day not to oppose the league's plan for an October 1 finale.

The league is likely to stage the grand final one week later than usual next season as part of the expansion to 17 teams.

AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou dramatically raised the stakes on Thursday, saying that the league would not negotiate with cricket authorities over the availability of the MCG.

Cricket Victoria has a statutory right to use the ground from October 1 to March 31.

"Although the (cricket) fixture for season 2010-11 is undetermined, CV is not aware of any likely significant structural changes or special requirement for interstate or international matches to specifically be staged in Victoria during that period," CV chief executive Tony Dodemaide said in the statement.

"(It) considers it unlikely that anything would arise between now and then.

"We understand the intense public interest in the grand final and its scheduling as a cornerstone of the long-term event planning process.

"We have therefore decided to support the AFL and (Melbourne Cricket Club's) request to stage the match at that time, even though it is technically within our contracted period.

Dodemaide said there were a number of factors for CV to consider, such as pitch installation and preparing the ground surface for cricket.

He said if there was a grand final replay, it would make the MCG unavailable for cricket throughout October.

"At present we don't have a viable alternative venue to stage first-class matches in Victoria, hence why we had to comprehensively consider our decision to release the ground," Dodemaide said.

Dodemaide added CV wanted to develop an alternative first-class ground as part of a new state cricket centre.

"Andrew is also aware of the concept and has indicated the AFL would support us, although I stress in a non-financial way," he said.

"Their support is obviously very welcome."

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