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CBA confident of no cricket at ANZ
Friday 5th February 2010  |  More News

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Cricket Australia is expected to scrap plans to shift one-day international matches to ANZ Stadium in Sydney in the face of pressure from series sponsor, the Commonwealth Bank.

Cricket NSW, which selects venues for major matches in the state, is believed to be under increasing pressure to scuttle the planned move that has left the bank "uncomfortable" about the future of its $20 million sponsorship.

Sources at the bank say the sponsorship is under no immediate threat and they are confident that matches in the one-day series will continue to be played at the SCG. One source at the bank described claims it was ready to pull out of its sponsorship as "mischievous".

The source said the Commonwealth Bank still viewed the SCG as the spiritual home of the sport in NSW.

"We have told Cricket Australia that we are not comfortable with a move to Homebush," a bank spokesman told The Australian. "But we understand there has been no decision. We want to focus on a great season of cricket that is still underway."

Cricket NSW is understood to have been buoyed by good crowds attending the KFC Big Bash Twenty20 fixtures at Homebush this summer, prompting the move to take the 50-over internationals west. While the renewal of the 50-over game sponsorship comes up next year, the Commonwealth remains attracted to large free-to-air TV audiences the games attract compared to the Twenty20 series which is carried on subscription TV.

The ANZ Bank signed a seven-year naming rights deal with the stadium in 2008. Yesterday the ANZ was continuing to steer clear of the controversy, leaving all comments to be made by stadium management.

Last year the AFL announced it would not call Etihad Stadium by its sponsor's name in deference to its major sponsor, Qantas, as well as a number of other issues. However, the stadium and the AFL agreed to a new 15-year contract in September.


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