Sydney Test, Play officially called off in Sydney’s 26th rained out :

Confirmed: No play on day three

Thank you one, thank you all

And now that we’re officially done for the day, so am I. Thank you one and all for sticking with us throughout an entire day without cricket. Tomorrow promises actual play, more song polls and should there be more rain delays, more Shane Warne highlights. Until then.

Analysis: What does the future hold for Test cricket?

As Australia charge toward the most dominant home summer in Test cricket history, South Africa’s capitulation in the current series, a little more than four months after they were the top-ranked team in the world, has again raised concerns about the long-term sustainability of cricket’s traditional format.

Malcolm Conn canvases a host of key stakeholders in this deep dive on Test cricket’s future, drawing on greats of the game and a leading administrator and television executive to discuss where the game is headed.

Mark Taylor and Ian Botham have suggested two divisions for Test cricket, Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley says Australia have a responsibility to be a good global cricket citizen, while Usman Khawaja and Glenn McGrath believe more money needs to be invested in Test cricket to counter the lure of T20 leagues.

Lisa Sthalekar believes the multi-format series used to decide the women’s Ashes may be the answer

Sing when you’re winning: The Sun song poll verdict

I’m very tempted to ignore all of you when it comes to this verdict due to the criminal injustice against Len’s Steal My Sunshine.

But with something of a landslide result from more than 1200 punters, The Beatles ‘Here Comes The Sun’ is apparently your definitive song about the sun. Stand by for another song poll shortly, because we’re still some time away from any movement at the SCG.

That said, and somewhat aptly for us, the sun is poking through the clouds in between bouts of rain.

He’s been playing solitaire on his lonesome in the bowels of the SCG. And even before this recall, you might remember he was flown in to Johannesburg as a batting back-up after the 2018 sandpaper scandal, having just played a key, unbeaten 81-run role in Queensland’s Sheffield Shield final win that year. He celebrated his 22nd birthday somewhere over the Indian Ocean on that flight, but didn’t end up playing.

Later that year he was in the squad again in Dubai but suffered a concussion during a pre-game fielding warm-up. Then he went back to Queensland, was dropped at one point, and eventually, over the next four years, filled his boots and worked his way back into Test contention. Which brings us to the here and now. Some story.

From the archives: The day Lara’s genius was realised

As Noah said to the big fella, we’re going to need a bigger boat. Not much to be done now but wait for the umpires to call it at the SCG.

So why not luxuriate in quite possibly the most aesthetically pleasing innings ever played at the ground? I may also be plugging one of my own stories.

A knock so good, Brian Lara named his first daughter Sydney in honour of the 1993 innings that set his sparkling career in motion. As Michael Holding wryly noted afterwards, luckily Lara’s breakthrough wasn’t made in Lahore.

Brian Charles Lara shuffles slightly to off as Shane Warne’s offering turns to leg, past Ian Healy and rolls its way to fine leg.

“Has he got bat on it? That is the question,” Ian Chappell wonders in commentary.

“When he’s got about five metres from the crease, he’s started waving his bat to the West Indies crowd. Not only a very fine batsman, but also a very smart one.”

With his first double-century in the offing and a legitimate question as to whether his attempted leg glance had connected, Lara wasn’t giving umpire Terry Prue any chance.

For Warne and Allan Border’s increasingly bedraggled fielders, the sight of Lara, arms aloft, undefeated with triple figures to his name, would become an all-too-familiar sight for more than a decade afterwards.

The 277 Lara scored in that innings at the SCG remains one of the best performances Test cricket has encountered.

For Lara, and to a far lesser extent, Chappell, this was the penny dropping from almost a year earlier.

Already answering to “the Prince of Trinidad” throughout Port-of-Spain’s nightspots, Lara’s reputation and limitless potential preceded him before he arrived on Australian shores.

Leading into a 1992 World Cup where fancied West Indian and Australian outfits outdid themselves in underperforming, Windies coach Deryck Murray asked Chappell to have a word with his star pupil.

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