Church leaders have dismissed the concept of playing Big Bash cricket on Christmas Day – a proposal one denomination has described as an “intrusive venture”.
The Adelaide Anglican Diocese and Catholic Archdiocese say the holy day should be left for friends and family to spend time together.
Cricket Australia last week revealed it had established a working party – “Project Jingle Bash” – to fast-track plans for a historic Christmas Day Twenty20 blockbuster.
The concept is unlikely to be formalised for next year but not out of the question, according to Big Bash League boss Anthony Everard.
But Anglican Diocese of Adelaide Bishop Tim Harris said Christmas Day remained a religious observance for many South Australians.
He said Christmas Day did not need “such an intrusive venture that is essentially a business opportunity”.
“We need to ask what is driving the perceived need for such an intrusion on a day that has traditionally been set aside for gathering in the company of church communities, families and friends,” Bishop Harris said.
“An event such as the Big Bash will mean a significant number of people will be pressured to move back into work mode for all the infrastructure and support required of such an event.
“We question greatly the need or appropriateness of such an event, especially as it impacts on a significant sector of the city and parklands.”
Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide Vicar General Father Philip Marshall said Christmas Day was a time for families and friends to spend together, share food and renew relationships.
“With sport every other day of the year, let’s leave this one for people to connect with each other. The only cricket we should have that day is in the backyard,” he said.