The KFC Big Bash League has confirmed two Sydney Thunder games will be moved from Sydney Showground Stadium as a result of state border closures.
The two games that have been impacted are the 13 January match against the Sydney Sixers and the 18 January game against the Hobart Hurricanes. Both matches will now be played at Manuka Oval in Canberra.
Sydney Thunder captain Callum Ferguson said he realised the news would disappoint the club’s “many loyal supporters” across Sydney. However, Ferguson said he hoped all Sydney Thunder fans could understand the reasons for the matches being relocated.
“We were really looking forward to returning to Sydney and playing these two matches in front of the BBL’s most loyal Members and fans at Sydney Showground Stadium,” he said.
“And while we’re frustrated about not playing in Sydney, the support we’ve received from our fan base has been terrific. I have no doubt that it has contributed to the success we’ve enjoyed so far this season.”
The decision has been made in line with Cricket Australia’s commitment to giving all formats and competitions the best chance of completing a full season.
Cricket NSW Chief Executive Lee Germon said his organisation, along with Cricket Australia and other partners, did everything they could to keep the Thunder’s and Sydney Sixers’ affected matches in Sydney.
“Like everyone we are disappointed we aren’t able to host this block of games in Sydney,” Germon said.
“Along with CA and other partners we did all we could to keep the matches at the SCG and Sydney Showground Stadium because we know how much our fans and supporters love attending Sixers and Thunder matches.
“Although our teams are not playing these matches in Sydney, I know our players have greatly appreciated the support they have received throughout the BBL already and both clubs will do all we can to repay that faith and support from our fans.”
Cricket Australia’s Head of Big Bash Leagues, Alistair Dobson, said the decision was made in response to the COVID-19 border restrictions that have been imposed on NSW.
“The logistical complexities of the KFC BBL, with multiple movements of multiple groups across multiple state borders, means moving these games gives us the best possible chance of executing a full season,” he said. “This differs from the logistics of the ongoing Vodafone Test Series, which requires fewer movements across state borders to execute a full series.
“We understand this will be disappointing news for the thousands of passionate Sixers and Thunder members and fans in Sydney. We want those fans to know that we greatly appreciate their support and know they’ll be tuning in to cheer their teams on.”
Tickets for Sydney Thunder’s matches at Manuka Oval will go on sale this Friday.
Sydney Thunder Members can purchase pre-sale tickets for the team’s two matches at Manuka Oval today from 3pm today. Tickets will be available to the General Public from 5pm.
Important information for spectators wanting to attend Thunder matches at Manuka Oval:
Spectators wanting to attend the Thunder matches at Manuka are advised ticket sales will end at 6pm the day before each game in line with COVID-19 tracing purposes. This deadline allows the venue to verify all ticket purchasers to ensure the safety of everyone attending the event.
Anyone planning to attend the matches at Manuka Oval is advised to observe the Conditions of Entry.
Supporters and Members are not able to attend the game if they arrived into the ACT from Greater Sydney, Central Coast or Wollongong after 11:59pm on Sunday 20 December. In addition to this, anyone who has visited Sydney's Northern Beaches from Friday 11 December 2020 is also unable to attend the game.
If you attended the MCG on Sunday 27 December, seated in the Great Southern Stand, Zone 5, between 12:30pm – 3:30pm, we recommend you do not purchase a ticket to the BBL matches at Manuka Oval.