Western Australia Cricket Association (WACA) chief executive Christina Matthews and chairman Terry Waldron have expressed their disappointment over Cricket Australia’s decision to bypass Perth as one of the four Test venues for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy between India and Australia.
“This is the second time we haven’t had India scheduled, the last time we were told it was because our venue wasn’t good enough and if we supported a new stadium, this would never happen again, and here we are again,” ESPNCricinfo quoted Matthews as saying.
As per Cricket Australia’s (CA) schedule, WACA will be hosting a Day-Night Test between Australia and Afghanistan from November 21 which will also kickstart the home season at the Down Under.
“I want to make it clear, hosting a Test is a privilege, not a right and we understand that, and we’re as privileged to host Afghanistan as anyone else and we’ll certainly put on a really good show and welcome Afghanistan to the Test arena in Australia,” Matthews said.
According to media reports, CA on Wednesday decided that the four-match Test series would be played at Brisbane Gabba, Adelaide Oval, Melbourne Cricket Ground and the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Gabba would host the opening match from December 3. While the second match in Adelaide from December 11 will be India’s first away Day-Night Test, the ones in Melbourne and Sydney will be the traditional Boxing Day and New Year Tests respectively.
Meanwhile, the WACA spent a hefty amount to build a new stadium, the Optus Stadium, as according to CA’s guidelines the old WACA stadium lacked certain facilities. The new stadium had hosted India for one of the four Tests in 2018-19.
“The government invested hundreds and thousands of dollars to make Perth Stadium cricket friendly froom the start, so all the facilities for cricket were built into that, and at the time Cricket Australia gave a guarantee to the government that they would be absolutely utilisng that stadium to its fullest,” Matthews said.
“I just want to say as chair of the WACA and on behalf of the WACA and all cricket lovers in WA, I’m really disappointed in this decision. I actually think it’s the wrong decision, we made a really compelling case, along with the government to CA, I looked at that again this morning, and when I went through it, I just can’t understand why they’d make that decision,” he added.