Posted by: nestaquin | February 25, 2009

Bushrangers Booted from MCG

mcgWhile on a brief visit to Bellerive this morning I was gleefully informed that the Melbourne Cricket Ground is no longer available to host the Sheffield Shield final next month due to a hastily arranged charity concert to promote a bunch of has-been bands, B-Grade celebrities and cretinous politicians all under the banner of raising even more money for the Red Cross.

Obviously, that is Victoria’s choice but with over $150 million already generously donated it seems a warped decision considering the Bushrangers well known habit of choking in finals, the prestige of the event and their mastery of the MCG pitch.

Apparently, the suburban splendour of Junction Oval is likely to host the final and the downgrading of one of Australian cricket’s marquee events by the state of Victoria and the MCG trust has only increased my cynicism and charitable fatigue. To be honest, there are so many people and organisations raising cash for the poor sods north of Melbourne that I’m wondering who is benefitting and why so little has actually reached the hands of the people who actually need it.

Victoria have earned the right to host the final by playing sterling cricket across the continent this summer and I suppose they could hold the match in downtown Warracknabeal if they choose but I’m of the opinion that if they don’t want to hold the game at the MCG then perhaps the second place team or a neutral venue should host the match at their premier venue. Or perhaps, more wisely and less facetiously, the beancounters at Jolimont could promote the final as an appeal also and in doing so shame the residents of Melbourne into actually attending a match and supporting their team.

I understand that these are unique times in Victorian history but surely the Shield final is more important than Peter Garrett’s ego and tight parliamentary schedule. There’s enough cash in the bank to begin the task of rebuilding the communities affected and another week will make no difference whatsoever to them.

Victoria have been dominant at the MCG this year and by not playing there they have given the opposition an opportunity to snatch another trophy that should rightfully be theirs. I can assure you that Tasmania, currently second and in fine fettle for their tilt at the title, were as pleased as punch when they heard the news.



  1. What actually happens to this $150,000,000 ? Does it go to rebuild the burnt down homes and replace baby bonus TV’s, or just to the stupidest Victorians who built on the fringes yet neglected to insure their property.

    Surely all the infrastructure rebuilding will come out of state/federal coffers, can’t expect the Red Cross to be building roads now.

  2. Buggered if I know Mo but the Red Cross certainly do well out of disasters and misery. I’d prefer a government/community fund overseen by the Governor General than see all the money go to what is basically a Christian run private organisation.

    On the bright side, Tasmania would have little hope at the ‘G and now have a mighty chance of winning their first Shield away from Bellerive and I won’t be complaining about that!

  3. When was the last time Victoria actually won a final? Seems being at home makes little difference to the outcome either..

  4. They have been very strong at the MCG this season with the new drop-in pitch. If it was played there they’d have a huge advantage. Not so much at Junction. Also, how many times has the away team won the Shield final anywhere? I don’t know the answer but it isn’t too often.

  5. In what sense is the Red Cross Christian run?

    They might get a better crowd at Warracknabeal.

  6. I’ve nothing but admiration for the Red Cross and the humanitarian work they do. However, their affiliates the Red Crescent and The Red Star of David suggest a delineation along religious boundaries. Also, one of their mandates is to provide military and civilian chaplains to the suffering.

    I acknowledge that the Victorian Red Cross may or may not be run by Christians but the point I was making, quite poorly I admit, was that an accountable government organisation would be a better depository of funds. If they chose to give a portion to the Red Cross, Salvos or St. Vinnies so be it. I’m sure it would help.

  7. I didn’t mean to question your regard for the Red Cross – I’m just fairly sure that the Cross/Crescent split is a result of objections to the original emblem, rather than anything in the organisation itself. The perception that they are religious symbols has led to the slow introduction of a “red crystal”. I didn’t know they had anything to do with chaplains beyond being involved in the conventions that give protection to them under the red whatever emblems, along with health worders, etc.

    The Shield final has been won by the away team five times out of 26. Three times by NSW (at WACA and Gabba x2), once each by Qld (WACA) and WA (Gabba).

    • No worries Jonathan. I think the red diamond has been adopted by an Israeli arm of the organisation that operates both sides of the always moving Palestinian border. Good move to cease using religious symbols in my opinion. Also, thanks for the stats collecting. Good Job.

  8. Cricket grounds are part of cricket’s history. No match would ever be moved from Lord’s for any reason (although the Olympics archery is there in 2012, so I should be careful what I say!)

    • Too bad T20 cricket isn’t being played at Lord’s during the next Olympics. A symbolic and majestic opportunity was lost when it wasn’t included as an exhibition sport.

  9. Nesta – I couldn’t agree more. And I bet at least one billion Indians feel the same.

    • It is quite astonishing that the New Delhi Commonwealth Games in 2010 won’t have any cricket. Perhaps Modi could organise a tournament to run at the same time to showcase the game and make a few rupee. It would be a bold move and with so many tourists an obvious winner. The ECB could conceivably do the same in 2012.

      On other matters, the Black Caps just gave the World Champs a T20 lesson on respect for your opponent and how to construct an innings. More on that later.

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