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Volume 10 No. 24

Leagues and Governing Bodies

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).

The Australian Football League "has warned the State Government that Asian match-fixing syndicates could infiltrate the league," according to Stephen Drill of the HERALD SUN. In a bid to protect the game from int'l crime gangs, the AFL "wants new laws introduced so that its integrity officers can gain access to police intelligence." In a letter to Sports Minister Hugh Delahunty, AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou "described the threat of international match-fixing as 'dire.''' AFL spokesperson Patrick Keane said that the league "had written to every state government asking them to support legislative changes to allow police to share information." Premier Denis Napthine wrote to the Federal Government this year "to ­support the request for authorised bodies, which could include the AFL’s Integrity Unit, to have access to police telephone intercept information." He wrote, "The legislative change should ensure Victoria Police is permitted to share any intelligence in its possession, such as information from telephone intercepts. This would include information that relates to match fixing, improper betting, doping, other forms of corruption" (HERALD SUN, 9/13).

Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag said he is satisfied with how the "management of the electric car racing series is going" ahead of Formula E's debut next year, according to Victor García of EL CONFIDENCIAL. Agag: "All is going as scheduled. Having businesses as important as McLaren, Williams, Renault, Michelin, DHL, Tag-Heuer, Qualcomm... it gives a great boost." These "new 'green' races are creating interest."  The interest "is not only from the business point of view of big, multi-national companies and different cities behind the project, but also from athletes, and there is a line of former F1 pilots currently waiting to see if they will form part of the starting grid in Sept. '14." There will be "three races in Europe, two apiece in South America and the U.S. and three in Asia." Motorsports governing body FIA will release the schedule in a few days for the 10 urban Grand Prix "scheduled for between June and September of next year." The mayors of these cities "want to connect the images of their cities to the strength of clean energy without using crude oil" (EL CONFIDENCIAL, 9/12).

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) will release its list of banned substances for '14 on Oct. 1 after the "list was approved in Buenos Aires on Wednesday by WADA's exec committee." The "new list will take effect starting Jan. 1." The list is "revised annually by every member of WADA and later passes before an 'Experts Group' that presents its conclusions to the Health & Medicine Committee, which makes its recommendations" (EP, 9/12). ... As V8 Supercar racing enters its business end, Ford "is close to agreeing on a deal to stay in the sport for at least another year." Ford Performance Racing "is likely to remain so for 2014, with Ford set to stay the team's backers despite preparing to close its Australian car manufacturing operations in 2016" (AAP, 9/12). ... Former Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Akhtar said that instead of running after the Board of Control for Cricket in India for normalizing cricket ties, the Pakistan Cricket Board "should focus on converting the national team into a world class side." The Indian government "has rejected visa applications of the players of Pakistani side Faisalabad Wolves, which was to play in the Champions League Twenty20 tournament" (PTI, 9/12). ... The Japan FA "will aim to rebuild the now-torn J-Village training complex in Fukushima Prefecture in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, hoping to use it as a camp site for the football competition" (KYODO, 9/12).