With names like Lara, Richards, Martyn and Gilchrist involved, it became the hottest ticket of the summer.
But fans in the Illawarra will miss out on the chance to see some of the sport’s biggest cricket stars, after the University of Wollongong decided to dump the Stumping Serious Diseases Twenty20 cricket match this year.
Headlined by former stars Brian Lara and Adam Gilchrist, the one-off fixture attracted a bumper crowd of more than 1500 people at University Oval in 2012, with officials forced to turn fans away at the gate.
But the university’s decision to shift its focus to this weekend’s MS Sydney to Gong bike ride for 2013 has seen the Stumping Serious Diseases concept pushed aside.
The event was initially deferred from the weekend of December 1, but UOW spokesman Bernie Goldie confirmed the match would not be rescheduled this year.
He said though it was unfortunate to lose the match, this weekend’s ride was now the priority.
‘‘We are concentrating our efforts a lot this year on the MS Sydney to Gong bike ride, which is on Sunday, November 3, which is one of the chief reasons why this Stumping Serious Diseases is not getting our focus,’’ Goldie said.
‘‘Adam Gilchrist, who is our brand ambassador, is going to be the team UOW leader on that Sydney to Gong bike ride.’’
UOW will be the major sponsor of the ride for the first time, with Gilchrist set to participate. The former Test gloveman is said to have played a key role attracting players including Graeme Hick, Damien Martyn, Sir Viv Richards and Waqar Younis, to the Twenty20 match in previous years.
But the upcoming Ashes series is believed to have hindered this process.
‘‘The other main reason that it is not going ahead is due to the number of players that we would normally approach, or try to approach, simply weren’t available this year,’’ Goldie said.
‘‘The Ashes played some part in it. We sometimes have to approach players who are playing at the moment and use them as a network for non-playing Ashes team members.’’
Goldie would not rule out a return for the event in the future.
‘‘They will look at, even if it is not in that form, the possibility of other cricket matches going ahead,’’ he said.