Cameron Bancroft has always said he takes “full responsibility” for the sandpapergate mess, but things have never been that clear.
Sydney Sixers and Perth Scorchers will have one eye on the rain radar in the hours leading up to Saturday’s Big Bash League final, with both sides keen to avoid returning to the SCG on Sunday.
Cricket Australia introduced a reserve day for this season’s final in response to anger over its absence.
It came after heavy rain threatened to wash out last year’s decider, only for tireless SCG ground staff to ensure the Sixers and Melbourne Stars were able to square off in a contest that spanned a total of 24 overs.
Showers are forecast in Sydney on Saturday, although the prediction of five to 15 millimetres of rain isn’t nearly as biblical as what lashed the ground a year ago.
The preference will be for an abridged final to be run and done on Saturday night, if wet weather does halt or delay play, rather than stage a complete 40-over game on Sunday.
Australia’s Twenty20 squad is flying to New Zealand aboard a charter flight on Sunday.
As such, a reserve-day fixture would mean the likes of Josh Philippe, Ashton Turner, Mitch Marsh, Jason Behrendorff, Jhye Richardson and Andrew Tye are forced to make a mad dash from the SCG to the airport.
Broadcasters would also be far from thrilled with a final that isn’t in prime time.
Sixers captain Moises Henriques noted playing on Sunday would be “an inconvenience for everyone”.
“We’ll do everything we can. There is talk about extending the time we can play to on the night,” Henriques said.
“The key for us is similar to what we did last year, to relax and prepare like we would for another other fixture. Irrelevant of what the weather is doing or predicted to do.
“Sometimes when there is bad weather or it is raining, you start trying to forecast too many things in your own head about whether you’re going to play or not.
“The reality is you only need it to clear for a few hours here to play, like last year.”
Showers are likely to encourage both teams to bowl first if the choice is theirs, ensuring they can stay on top the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern equation in a shortened chase.
“We spend a lot of time looking at the radar… it’s a nightmare,” Perth skipper Turner said.
“Last night (during a rain-affected win over Brisbane Heat), we were as calm and well prepared as we could be for that situation.”