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Cricket fans dudded by 'embarrassing' call as storm erupts before Marsh Cup final

NSW will take on Western Australia at Cricket Central in western Sydney, rather than at North Sydney Oval.

Cricket Central, pictured here in Sydney.
NSW will play Western Australia at Cricket Central in Sydney. Image: Getty

Cricket NSW bosses are copping heat over the decision to stage the final of the Marsh Cup at a ground where fans are encouraged to bring their own seating. Sunday's limited overs decider between NSW and Western Australia will be played at Cricket Central in Sydney's west, which has little or no grandstand or undercover seating, limited parking and no easily accessible public transport.

And the public transport that is available could be swamped by Swifties heading out early for the Taylor Swift concert at nearby Accor Stadium. The Cricket NSW website features the following recommendation for Cricket Central: "Limited public seating is available; we recommend bringing your own camping chair or similar."

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The SCG was unavailable due to the start of preparations for the upcoming AFL season, while suburban grounds such as North Sydney Oval and Hurstville Oval were not seriously pursued. Initially, that was put down to a clash with Sydney's grade cricket competition.

Spectators, pictured here sitting on camping chairs at Cricket Central.
Spectators sitting on camping chairs during the Women's National Cricket League match between NSW and Tasmania at Cricket Central in January. (Getty Images)

But one official with knowledge of the situation told Yahoo Sport Australia a compromise could have been reached. "They could have moved the North Sydney grade game to Cricket Central and played the Marsh Cup final at North Sydney," the official said.

"But they (Cricket NSW) chose not to do that and Cricket Australia just went along with it. It's embarrassing and a lot of people are not happy with it."

Spectators, pictured here during a WNCL match at Cricket Central.
Spectators watch on during a WNCL match at Cricket Central. (Getty Images)

Fans vented on the Cricket NSW Facebook page, with one posting: "Can somebody please explain to me how this makes sense hosting at Cricket Central? 1. Crowd capacity - 1,000 (give or take), 2. Catering facilities for a decent crowd – zero, 3. Shade/undercover for “crowd” – negligible. Seems they’re not expecting much of a crowd and that most will bring their own chairs, umbrellas and cut lunch."

Another took an each-way bet, declaring: "Cricket Central is now Cricket NSW's home of cricket. It's also really more in the centre of Sydney than SCG is. That said, there's no seating and it's a bit of a bugger to get to by public transport on a Sunday."

Cricket Central.
An aerial view of Cricket Central in western Sydney. (Getty Images)

Cricket NSW defends decision not to move to North Sydney Oval

A Cricket NSW spokesperson confirmed the final could have been played at North Sydney, but the governing body felt the new home of cricket was a more appropriate venue. "We had the option of playing the match at Cricket Central or North Sydney Oval but Cricket Central, as the Blues home base, was preferred," the spokesperson told Yahoo Sport Australia. "NSW beat Western Australia at the same venue earlier this season and that was also a factor."

Blues skipper Moises Henriques played a straight bat when asked where he'd prefer to play. He told Yahoo Sport Australia: "It's a decision for the association rather than me. I'm not sure why or what (was behind the Cricket Central decision). I don’t know. I was happy enough either way given we’ve played on both grounds throughout the season."

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