Devastating to lose Perth as Test venue: WACA

Cricket Australia says the WACA ground has the smallest capacity of the five mainland Test venues and has historically attracted lower attendances.

Updated: September 12, 2013 17:41 IST
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The Western Australian Cricket Association says it is "devastated" after being told it won't host a Test during the four-match series between Australia and India in 2014-15.

Cricket Australia released its Test calendar with the India Tests scheduled for Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney and dates to be determined. Usually Australia play at least five Tests - one in each mainland state capital - during their summer, but their co-hosting of the 2015 World Cup with New Zealand has forced a reduced Test schedule.

WACA chief executive Christina Matthews says the ongoing effect will be devastating. "The fans in WA (Western Australia) have consistently supported Test cricket at the WACA and we are devastated that thousands of loyal cricket fans will not be able to see the Test match live against India," Christina Matthews said in a statement.

CA said the situation was "unique" because it was a World Cup year. It also said the WACA, traditionally the fasTest pitch in the country, has the smallest capacity (24,500) of Australia's five major cricket grounds.

"Though a traditional Test match venue with a proud history, the WACA ground has the smallest capacity of the five mainland Test venues and has historically attracted lower attendances," Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said.

Perth's WACA ground will not host a match in Australia's summer of cricket for the first time since 1976-77. Although the WACA has missed out on a Test match, they will play host to up to four limited-over matches in the 2014-15 season that will see South Africa tour in a limited-over series in November as well as India and England competing in a tri-series in January prior to the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup.

"Whilst CA will provide additional limited-overs matches to replace the Test match, there is no compensation for losing a Test," added the WACA chief executive.

Sutherland, however, clarified the situation by saying it is just a one-off situation that the Perth ground is not part of their Test itinerary.

"It is still a big summer and there is plenty of cricket to go around but in regard to only having four Tests, this is a one-off situation that we don't see happening in the foreseeable future," said Sutherland.

"Many factors were taken into consideration, including the allocation of 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup matches, but on this occasion the Adelaide Oval and the Gabba were considered to have the strongest claims," Suntherland added.

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