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SBD Global/September 13, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Western Australia Cricket Association Slams Cricket Australia's Decision To Snub Perth

The Western Australia Cricket Association (WACA) has slammed Cricket Australia's "devastating" decision to "overlook Perth as a host venue for the test series against India" in '14-15, according to Ian Ransom of REUTERS. Perth's WACA ground will "not host a match in Australia's summer of cricket for the first time" since '76-77, with the "four tests to be played in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide." WACA CEO Christina Matthews said, "Whilst CA will provide additional limited-overs matches to replace the test match, there is no compensation for losing a test." Australia's summer of cricket has been "condensed to four tests due to the scheduling of the 2015 World Cup," and Cricket Australia said that the Gabba and Adelaide Oval "had stronger claims with their bigger capacities" (REUTERS, 9/12).

'MAKE OR BREAK RULING': In Sydney, Peter Lalor reported CA's decision to deny Perth a Test in the summer of '14-15 "may make or break the traditional venue as eyes move across the river" to the A$700M ($648.9M) Burswood Stadium. Brisbane "was considered as a chance to miss out, but was given a reprieve as a shutdown due to hosting the G20 summit meant it couldn't host any additional limited-overs games as compensation." Adelaide, too, "was asked to put in a submission arguing why it should host a game." The fact the state government has backed a A$500M redevelopment that increases Adelaide Oval's capacity and quality "assured it of a game." Adelaide holds 53,000, the Gabba 35,000, but "the WACA ground only 17,000." The latter, "with its poor capacity and facilities, was informed on Wednesday night of the bad news" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 9/13).

NO CONSPIRACY: In Melbourne, Chloe Saltau reported the WACA ground "might be the venue where Australia enjoys its strongest home-ground advantage but it is also the one most in need of refurbishment, with the smallest capacity of the mainland Test venues." These factors -- "not an Indian conspiracy" -- were behind CA's decision to "axe Perth from the Test circuit when India tours next summer." Six years after WACA announced a A$250M redevelopment, which was to "include two residential towers and increase the capacity to 30,000, construction has not started." Channel Nine "had previously lobbied for Perth to displace Brisbane as the opening Test of the summer because it can screen in prime time to the eastern states," boosting audiences by 40%. The governing body, however, was "true to its word" that the broadcaster's A$400M rights deal would not entitle it to dictate the schedule (REUTERS, 9/12).
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