Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu believes the MCG is the logical choice to host the 2015 World Cup Final.
Speaking at the Australian High Commission in Delhi earlier this week- where he is currently leading a trade delegation that includes Cricket Victoria Chief Executive Officer Tony Dodemaide and general managers John Watkin and Tim Gledhill- Mr Baillieu swept aside any suggestion that the match could be played outside of Melbourne.
“I am sure (Sydney) have a lovely stadium but you would have to say the G is a natural choice,” Mr Baillieu.
“It’s where it should be, it’s where it has been in the past and it’s where it will be in 2015.
“To do otherwise would be to short change the Cup.”
Having previously hosted the World Cup Final in 1992, the nation’s largest sporting stadium has an unparalleled reputation for hosting the globe’s biggest events including the Olympic and Commonwealth Games.
While Cricket NSW, and more recently the SACA, has put their hands up to host the event, Mr Baillieu left no one under any illusions as to where the Final should be played.
“Melbourne has already hosted a World Cup Final so we know what it takes to deliver,” Mr Baillieu said.
“The MCG is a ground that has hosted an Olympics, a Commonwealth Games, all those Boxing Day Test matches, many football finals and soccer qualifiers in the World Cup.”
The World Cup was last held in India and Sri Lanka last year and will be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand in 2015.
During his pitch in Delhi, Mr Baillieu also announced a Cricket Victoria scholarship program for 20 aspiring young Indian cricketers, with former Australian Test and one-day legend Dean Jones on hand, along with Kapil Dev, at the Australian High Commission.
The program, which allows participants to develop skills in a range of sports related fields including administration and training, marketing and media, and major events management, is invaluable in developing and strengthening cricket infrastructure in India.
Commencing in May with the assistance of Sports Education Development Australia, the program will also play an important role in building educational links and partnerships between Victoria and India.
“India and Australia have a shared passion for cricket,” Mr Baillieu said.
“The (Victorian) Government is also working closely with SEDA, Cricket Victoria and Red Dust to help promote educational programs.
“Such programs are helping to produce invaluable skills.”