Sydney: Tom Parker, the unassuming Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) curator, has become the most wanted man here in the lead-up to Thursday’s high voltage World Cup semi-final clash between India and Australia.
The interest in what brand of pitch Parker will produce for the blockbuster and whether Australia’s wish for a nice cover of grass on game day will be realised, has the large Indian media contingent infatuated, reported a leading Australian daily.
So much so that on Sunday while the Super Rugby game was on between the Waratahs and Brumbies inside Allianz Stadium here, a couple of touring reporters went in pursuit of Parker down the tunnel underneath the SCG.
On Monday, as the Australian and Indian teams began training, there was more hype over the appearance of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) pitch consultant Andy Atkinson.
It is been made clear, though, that this will not be Atkinson or ICC’s deck to prepare; that is Parker’s responsibility alone and his intention is to simply produce a traditional SCG wicket.
The good news for Australia is that there was some grass on the pitch on Monday. The bad news is they are not playing on it until Thursday.
There is plenty of rolling to be done between now and then. The other factor, though, is the rain forecast for Tuesday.