WACA chiefs left bemused by Perth's omission from India Test series

By Sports Desk May 28, 2020

WACA chief executive Christian Matthews and chairman Terry Waldron have vented their frustrations after Cricket Australia (CA) decided against using Perth as a venue for a planned Test series against India.

Cricket across the globe is currently on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, though a schedule for Australia has been drawn up for later in the year.

After facing Zimbabwe in a three-match ODI series at venues yet to be determined, Australia will play three Twenty20s against both West Indies and India.

Perth Stadium will then host a one-off Test against Afghanistan in November, with a four-Test series against India – along with three ODIs – scheduled for December.

However, the Perth venue has not been selected to host any of the Tests, with Brisbane preferred, a decision which has left WACA's top officials bemused.

"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," CEO Matthews told reporters.

"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'll certainly put on a really good show and welcome Afghanistan to the Test arena in Australia.

"But suffice to say, not having India tour here for the second time in six years is very disappointing for us, for our members, for our fans, and I daresay for the government who has put in a lot of time and effort into creating a stadium that has been recognised around the world as the most beautiful stadium in the world and in fact, was rated as the second-best cricket ground in Australia in a survey.

"So we've been a little bit bemused and disappointed how we haven't been scheduled for one of the prime series in the cricket calendar."

WACA chairman Waldrom added: "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.

"I do understand it's difficult for CA, they have to make the call and we will now pick up the cudgels and we'll get on with it. Afghanistan are an exciting, emerging team.

"But I am disappointed and I actually think it is a kick in the guts to WA, to all our cricket-loving people in WA and to our WACA members.

"When you've got one of the best stadiums in the world and when you've got the second-best cricket venue, the time slot back to India for TV, to me it's a no brainer.

"I understand it's a tough decision for CA, good luck to Queensland and we wish them all the best. We'll keep putting the pressure on because we've got a responsibility to cricket in WA, to cricket supporters, to fans and to our members."

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