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Vics handed win for abandoned SCG clash

Victoria receive six points following abandonment of Sheffield Shield match at the SCG

Victoria has been awarded six points and New South Wales none after their Sheffield Shield clash at the SCG was abandoned due to unsafe conditions

The match at the SCG was called off on Sunday when umpires deemed the surface surrounding the centre wicket was unsafe for play.

Cricket Australia announced on Monday that the Bushrangers had been awarded the win in accordance with Playing Conditions Law 7.2 - 'In the event of a match being abandoned because of inadequate pitch and/or ground preparation the match will be awarded to the visiting team'.

The area surrounding the SCG wicket this weekend // Getty

"I have looked into the matter here today and believe that we have no other option under the Cricket Australia Playing Conditions, other than to award the six points to Victoria," said CA Head of Operations Sean Cary.

"It’s an unfortunate outcome for New South Wales to lose points in this manner, and we acknowledge the disappointment the team is facing, however the decision the match officials made was not taken lightly.

"Abandoning a match is the last resort for any match official and was only done after due consideration for player safety."

NSW Cricket also announced it would move its next home Shield match, against Tasmania starting on Saturday, from the SCG to Bankstown Oval.

Cricket NSW chief executive Andrew Jones said it was disappointing to move the game but felt the Blues had little choice.

"With our next match due to start on Saturday we felt we could not take the risk of forfeiting a further six points due to the possibility of a recurrence," he said.

"Bankstown has proved itself a reliable first class venue, successfully hosting the Sheffield Shield match against Tasmania last season and five Matador Cup matches last month."

The SCG is scheduled to host another Shield game against Queensland from November 27 before the Sydney Sixers' opening home match of the KFC Big Bash League on December 20.

The historic ground is then scheduled to host the annual New Year's Test against West Indies, which is due to begin on January 3.

The NSW-Victoria match was abandoned on Sunday after only 34.2 overs were possible over three days, with the Blues 1-88 in their first innings when play was called off.

The Blues and the SCG Trust maintain that the surface was fit for play, a claim disputed by the Bushrangers and - most importantly - match referee Steve Bernard and standing umpires Simon Fry and Mike Graham-Smith.

Match referee Steve Bernard with umpires Fry Graham-Smith // Getty

Cricket Victoria CEO Tony Dodemaide said Jones had every right to be disappointed with the state of the SCG for what was the first match at the venue since the AFL regular season concluded two months ago.

While the condition of the centre wicket was praised by both teams, the sandy areas in the in-field - which had been drenched by heavy rain in the lead-up to the match - created troubles for the Bushrangers in the field.

Several Victorian players lost their footing, with Bernard observing that they had left divots in the turf of up to a metre long. 

However, the SCG Trust slammed the decision to abandon the game, with curator Tom Parker saying the ground was "absoutely" ready to host a match.

The Blues agreed, but Dodemaide repeated the belief of Bushrangers coach David Saker that the surface was too dangerous.

Aaron Finch holds a piece of the SCG turf during the match // Getty

"We certaintly don't hold our counterparts at Cricket NSW responsible for that," Dodemaide said on SEN on Monday morning, before the Vics were awarded the win.

"We're in a similar situation where we contract a ground, being the MCG, to present games that are scheduled at an appropriate standard. We had a Shield game down here (last week) and it was only about three weeks since the (AFL) grand final and the pitch and ground itself was presented in a terrific condition at the MCG.

"(Cricket NSW) would be rightfully really disappointed. I think it's been some time since there was actually anything that had gone on at the SCG - since the footy season finished, but that's nearly two months away now.

"I know there's been rain in the last week or so, but clearly there's been a lot of time to get the ground right. I would be disappointd if I was in Andrew Jones's shoes as well."

Blues coach Trent Johnston said his players completed a two-and-a-half hour net session on the centre wicket without incident on Sunday afternoon.

He said his side was willing to field, with captain Moises Henriques prepared to declare in a bid to speed up the match.

"Out here today it's a beautiful day in Sydney and I think maybe the abandonment of the game was probably a little bit early," Johnston told Sky Sports Radio on Monday.

"I think we could've got some play in today."