Marsh One-Day Cup 2019
Finch welcomes changes to one-day tournament
A change of name and tournament structure has been praised by Victoria’s Aaron Finch ahead of the season opener
14 September 2019, 10:32 AM AEST
Aaron Finch has given the revamped and rebranded domestic 50-over competition a resounding tick of approval, declaring the new schedule will give more players the opportunity to stake their claims for international selection.
The newly-named Marsh One-Day Cup starts on September 21, with half of the games to be played before the Sheffield Shield season commences on October 10.
The remaining 11 one-day fixtures will be then be contested in two separate blocks in late-October and mid-November, with the final to be staged on November 26.
The 50-over competition has been played in one block at the start of the summer for the past six years, with the gap between the tournament and Australia’s international matches often making selection challenging.
The changes will also allow more Australia players, headlined by one-day skipper Finch, to feature in the tournament, with the Aussies to play six T20 Internationals against Sri Lanka and Pakistan between October 27 and November 8, before the first Test against Pakistan on November 21.
"I think it’s a really good thing,” Finch said.
"In the past … for a lot of players with there not being any one-day cricket from the end of the one-day comp through to mid-January, it can be tough to select guys and for guys to really push their name forward because it is so far apart.
"This year I think the balance is as good as it’s been for a long time now – a bit of a block at the start and then some staggered one-day games around Shield games."
Finch said states would also face a juggling act between the 50-over and four-day competitions.
Previously, the Marsh One-Day Cup was over before the first ball of the Shield season was sent down, but the changes will force teams to put more thought into managing those who play both formats.
"One thing it will do is test the depth of squads," Finch said.
"The way it used to be … every team’s depth was challenged because you really had to monitor whether you were going to push hard for the one-day comp and risk someone who had just come off a four-day game in a condensed break.
"It’s going to be a really good test of lists.
"If you missed out for two weeks, that was pretty much your tournament done in the past. The fact it’s staggered now, I think, is a really good option."
Another positive of the new schedule is the fact aspiring international players will be exposed to some of the country’s best venues.
Five of the 21 games will be played at the MCG and the SCG, iconic Test venues that have not hosted a domestic one-day cricket since 2013 and 2014 respectively, while a further four will be played at the WACA Ground.
Gold Coast's Metricon Stadium will also host a 50-over game for the first time on October 31, with the remaining Marsh Cup matches to be played at Allan Border Field in Brisbane (four games), Junction Oval in Melbourne (two), Drummoyne Oval in Sydney (two), Karen Rolton Oval in Adelaide (three) and Hobart's Blundstone Arena (two).
Finch labelled the move “huge” for aspiring Australia players.
"Guys will have more access to playing one-day cricket at the main venues,” he said.
"At the end of the day, when you’re pushing for selection for Australia and you finally get the call-up, to come to a ground that you’ve been at before is really important.
"There are a lot of nerves that go around when you’re lining up for Australia for the first time, so (making it) as comfortable as you can make it around the environment is important."