Rodney Cavalier confident SCG's new grandstand will be finished in time for fifth Ashes Test

The SCG Trust is confident the new stand at the ground will be ready for the New Year Test, which starts on January 3.

Five hundred workers have been working frantically on the $186 million revamp of the Noble, Bradman and Messenger stands in a bid to host spectators for the fifth Ashes Test. The roof has not been built and is the only thing that may prevent the stand from being completed.

Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust chairman Rodney Cavalier said the finished product will be a testament to the hard work of the builders. ''This is a great story of Australian workers working together to get an outcome,'' Cavalier said on Friday. ''The SCG not only ranks in terms of Australian stadiums, but it is one of the two finest cricket grounds in the world and Lord's is the only ground that could compare. Stuart MacGill was here on the weekend and felt like pulling up a deck chair, he enjoyed watching it so much. There's no slackers on the site, every single person wants that roof finished.''

With so little time before the coin toss in front of an expected packed house in Sydney, Cavalier said everyone will have a seat and almost everyone will have access to shade. ''There will be more seats on the third of January than there were in the old M.A.Noble and Bradman stands,'' he said.

Workers are starting as early as 4am. Some do the later shift, finishing at about 11pm. One worker on site, who declined to be named, said that some staff, including himself, have been told they cannot have a day off except Christmas Day and that their working days may be as long as 11 hours.

Major Projects for the SCG Trust general manager Piers Thompson said workers were not working outside prescribed conditions.

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