Australian legend Kerry O’Keeffe branded the pitch at the Sydney Cricket Ground “drier than a teetotaller’s Christmas” but passionately defended keeping the New Year’s Test at the iconic venue.
A failure to complete day two of the third Test between Australia and Pakistan in Sydney marked the seventh time in the past eight Tests to have been impacted by weather delays.
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As it stands, the New Year’s Test will remain in Sydney for the foreseeable future.
However, a report in the Sydney Morning Herald claims Cricket Australia and the NSW government will hold crunch talks regarding the future of the event as South Australia and Western Australia watch with plenty of intrigue.
O’Keeffe was not a fan at the prospect of the New Year’s Test moving to a new city, branding it “intolerable”.
“It’s an iconic test,” O’Keeffe told Fox Cricket.
“There are three iconic days in our cricket calendar: Boxing Day day one in Melbourne, Adelaide day one in Adelaide and day three here at the SCG in early January.
“To take it away from us would be intolerable to me. I want to come to the Sydney Cricket Ground in the new year. It kicks off my new year, I can’t do without it. Don’t take it away from us.
“Think of all the drama that has happened in this Test over the years. People forget, even when we were filling yesterday, some of the theatre that this SCG Test in January has created, you’ll never see it again.
“OK, the elements haven’t been kind, but this is a Test that Sydney, that New South Wales looks forward to.
“It’s a bushies reunion in the outer, they come in early January to watch this game. Leave it where it is.”
Although O’Keeffe was his serious self when defending the New Year’s Test remaining in Sydney, he switched gears when discussing the pitch on offer and pulled out an all-time analogy when describing the pace of it.
“If I could talk technically, this pitch is drier than a teetotaller’s Christmas,” O’Keeffe said.
“It’s so slow, we don’t measure the pace of it with a speed gun, we use an hourglass.”
The Aussie great also predicted Steve Smith would thrive on this type of pitch, but felt blitzing all-rounder Mitchell Marsh wouldn’t enjoy similar success.