Despite criticism from Kialla over the condition of the pitch, this season's Haisman Shield grand final will be held at Deakin Reserve.By Damen Francis
Deakin Reserve is under no immediate threat to lose the Haisman Shield grand final, despite concerns about the quality of its pitch.
Responding to comments made by Kialla captain Scott Burton in yesterday’s edition of The News, Cricket Shepparton president David D’Elia said while the pitch ‘‘could be better’’, Deakin remained the association’s number one venue.
Burton, whose team played at the reserve on Saturday, described the pitch as having ‘‘more waves on it than Bondi Beach’’ and questioned the wisdom of staging a grand final on such an uneven deck.
D’Elia said Greater Shepparton City Council and tenant club Central Park-St Brendan’s ‘‘do a lot of work on the track’’ and it was not a major concern.
‘‘It’s probably not up to 100 per cent standard that we would like, but it’s still a pretty good track,’’ D’Elia said.
‘‘It does get a lot of use, it gets a lot of footy traffic, a lot of cricket and we would like it to be better .
With no matches scheduled at the ground for the weekend prior to the grand final, D’Elia said he was confident the wicket would be ready for the A-grade season decider, which starts on Saturday, March 16.
‘‘We’ve given it a rest semi-weekend, so they can get a good cross-rolling on it to maybe flatten it out a little bit more,’’ he said.
‘‘You can argue the point on about five or six grounds that do they have better facilities in relation to the cricket pitch, but the whole outfield and other facilities have to be taken into account.
‘‘It’s our home of cricket at this stage and that’s where we’ll play our grand final.’’
In other news, Cricket Shepparton’s presentation night has been set for Monday, March 11 at Kialla Recreation Reserve.
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