Umpires' call key as rain clouds BBL final

Rob Forsaith
It's a waiting game for Steve Smith and Sydney Sixers who were the first team into the BBL final

Sydney Sixers are confident umpires will make the right call regarding player safety in Saturday night's BBL final at what is expected to be a sodden SCG.

Up to 50mm of rain is forecast for Sydney on Saturday, when the Sixers will host the season decider against the winner of Thursday night's match between Melbourne Stars and Sydney Thunder.

The absence of a reserve day for the weekend final means that officials have a small window to ensure there is a result, which requires a minimum of five overs per team.

There will be obvious pressure on umpires to get play under way, especially with a sold-out SCG crowd and fans around the country watching on.

Few situations are more complex and contentious for umpires than wet weather.

The pitch, centre-wicket block and outfield represent potential safety concerns, while they must assess the intensity of rain while consulting with both captains and ground staff.

"You never want the game to be dangerous. I'm sure they will go through their processes and take the right approach," Sixers superstar Steve Smith told reporters.

"It's a wise move to postpone or move the bushfire relief game.

"We can't control the weather. We'll turn up on Saturday and hopefully get a game in."

The Sixers will claim their second title if the final is abandoned.

Smith admitted that wouldn't be an "ideal end to the season" but added "we've earned the right to host the final".

Four years ago, umpires deemed the show must go on when Chris Lynn's match-winning BBL knock of 75 came in the sort of rain that would have halted a Test.

Former Thunder coach Paddy Upton noted at the time the Gabba pitch "was muddy", it "was difficult to hold the ball" and "bowlers were bowling within themselves".

More recently, Sixers skipper Moises Henriques was unimpressed with the state of a damp Olympic Park pitch during a rain-marred loss to the Thunder this season.

Henriques questioned umpires as to whether the wicket was ready for action but the match proceeded and Thunder were declared victors, having reached 2-28 from 5.3 overs when rain prematurely ended their chase.

"You only need an hour or so of no rain, it drains pretty well here (at the SCG)," Sixers young gun Josh Philippe said on Thursday.

"If we get on I think the wicket will be fine."

The Sixers trained at the SCG on Thursday morning but showers are likely to send them indoors on Friday.

"Those rain-affected games can be tough," Smith said.

"We might have to talk about a few tactics."