Western Australia cricket chief lashes out at CA for India series snub
Western Australia Cricket Association (WACA) chief Christina Matthews has lashed out at Cricket Australia for choosing Brisbane over Perth as one of the venues for the high-profile Test series against India in the summer. Matthews said the newly built Optus Stadium is better than the Gabba in every way. Instead, Perth will be hosting the low profile one-off Test against Afghanistan in November.
The India series begins in Brisbane from December 3, followed by games in Adelaide (December 11-15), Melbourne (December 26-30) and Sydney (January 3-7).
“All the metrics associated with cricket over the last two years see us surpass Brisbane in every area, whether that’s crowds, broadcast ratings, even better rainfall at that time of year, more corporate seats - just so many indicators - and a brand new stadium,” Matthews was quoted as saying by foxsports on Thursday.
Cricket Australia confirmed its international schedule for the 2020-21 season on Thursday. “When Australian cricket’s primary objective is fans first, it is astounding that the 10,000 members who pay money to support cricket year after year in this state are not afforded the number one Test team to tour this year.
“The last time (India tour of 2014), 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,” Matthews said referring to the old WACA stadium.
India played in Perth when they toured last year with Australia winning the second Test by 146 runs to level the series.
The reinstatement of the Gabba comes after support from none other than Australia captain Tim Paine. Australia have not lost there in more than 30 years. Matthews said not getting to host India will hit them hard financially.
“We obviously hope that our members will continue to support us but we have to factor in that could be a AUD 3 or AUD 4 million hit to us on membership alone. They’re not necessarily looking at the hardcore cricket fans when they’re making those decisions.
“We’ve been told commercially, Brisbane is more viable for Australian cricket and that over an eight-year touring period from 2015 through 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,” she said.