Western Australia Cricket Association (WACA) chief executive Christina Matthews and chairman Terry Waldron has been left fuming as Perth has been bypassed for India’s four-match Test series against Australia later this year. As per media reports, Australia has finalised Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney for the four-match Test series against India later this year.
According to WACA cricket chiefs, they were promised a guaranteed top-line Test every year once Perth Stadium replaced the WACA Ground as the state’s prime international venue.
“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 the schedule, WACA will be hosting the day-night Test against Afghanistan from November 21-25 and it will be a day-night affair.
The match between Australia and Afghanistan will kickstart the home season of Australia.
“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”l certainly put on a really good show and welcome Afghanistan to the Test arena in Australia,” Matthews said.
The new stadium built in Perth hosted India during the 2018-19 tour, but for the series later this year, Perth has not been given hosting rights.
“The government invested hundreds of thousands of dollars to make Perth Stadium cricket friendly from 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 absolutely be utilising 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.
Over the years, Australia has traditionally started its major series at the Gabba in Brisbane.
“We’ve been told commercially Brisbane is more viable for Australian cricket and that over an eight-year touring period from 2015 to 2023, WA has a better schedule than anyone else. I’m not really privy to what’s going to happen in the next three years, but they were the key reasons,” Matthews said.
“This is not about Brisbane or the Gabba. They, like us, have to fight for their fans and their cricket community, however, all the metrics associated with cricket over the last two years see us surpass Brisbane in every area,” he added.
Brisbane has been picked to host the first Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy against India and the match will take place from December 3-7, cricket.com.au reported.
The second Test of the series will be a day-night match and it will go ahead in Adelaide from December 11-15.
As per a report in cricket.com.au, the final two matches of the series will be played in Melbourne and Sydney respectively.
Melbourne will be hosting the traditional Boxing Day Test while the match in Sydney will go ahead from January 3-7.
Last time, India toured Australia, the side managed to register their first Test series win Down Under as they defeated the hosts 2-1 in the four-match series.
Earlier, there were reports that India and Australia might just play all Tests at one venue, but that plan has been shunned for now.
These dates are set to be finalised by Cricket Australia on Friday as the body will announce the full men”s and women”s schedule for the 2020-21 summer.
Australia is also slated to host T20 World Cup in October-November this year, however, the fate of the tournament is uncertain because of the coronavirus pandemic.
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