Cricket Australia (CA) confirmed Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Brisbane as the venues that will host Test matches when India travel to Australia in the 2014-15 international season. Only four Tests are scheduled for the season, with the 2015 World Cup to follow.
The inclusion of Adelaide and Brisbane, home to the Adelaide Oval and the Gabba respectively, is subject to "the resolution of certain conditions", according to CA. This also means that the WACA in Perth, considered amongst the quickest pitches in international cricket, will not host a Test match.
"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," said James Sutherland, the CA chief executive.
Sutherland added that ground capacity had played a part in WACA not getting a Test. "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," he said. "The WACA has been working hard to improve the facilities for its fans but it still requires significant improvements."
Christina Matthews, the WACA chief executive, described the decision as extremely disappointing. "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."
While Sutherland acknowledged that a couple of states would be disappointed about the Test match allocation, he said it was due to "unfortunately due to the unique nature of the schedule next season, with a World Cup year".
"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."
Sutherland said that the re-development the Adelaide Oval has undertaken and the fact that Brisbane wouldn't be able to host other international cricket matches in the summer due to the G20 summit and the 2015 Asian Cup football had also played a part in the final decision.
"The Adelaide Oval is scheduled to complete a $ Aus 535 million re-development this season that will see the venue deliver world-class facilities for fans, players, broadcasters and media. The Oval has also built up a strong history of attendance over many seasons and the new facilities will only add to that fan experience," said Sutherland.
"One factor in the Gabba's favour was the limitations on their ability to effectively host other international cricket matches in the 2014-15 summer due to the G20 summit and the 2015 Asian Cup being scheduled respectively in November 2014 and January 2015."