MELBOURNE (Reuters) - 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 2014-15.
Perth’s WACA ground will not host a match in Australia’s summer of cricket for the first time since 1976-77, with the four tests to be played in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide.
“Whilst CA will provide additional limited-overs matches to replace the test match, there is no compensation for losing a test,” WACA chief executive Christina Matthews said in a statement on Thursday.
“The ongoing effect this loss will have on the WACA and cricket in Western Australia will be devastating and we are extremely disappointed by the decision, not only for the Association, but for our members and WA cricket supporters.”
Australia’s summer of cricket has been condensed to four tests due to the scheduling of the 2015 World Cup, and Cricket Australia (CA) said the Gabba and Adelaide Oval had stronger claims with their bigger capacities.
Adelaide Oval was scheduled to complete a A$535 million redevelopment this season, while the Gabba would miss out on other international cricket matches due to hosting the G20 summit, a gathering of world leaders, and soccer’s 2015 Asian Cup, CA said.
The decision may dismay broadcasters, with Perth’s timezone more friendly to viewers in the subcontinent as well as those in Australia’s major eastern cities.
But India’s cricketers are likely to rejoice in avoiding the WACA’s famously fast and bouncy pitch, where they were routed by an innings and 37 runs in less than three days in their last test at the ground in 2012.
Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Nick Mulvenney