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Facilities hurting contests: Gillespie

Former Australian fast bowler Jason Gillespie believes the MCG shouldn't have exclusive rights to the Boxing Day Test.


"No I don't (think the MCG should have exclusivity). Gillespie said.


"Everyone talks about the tradition of it - I think they played the first Boxing Day Test in about 1980. So yes, it has been a tradition for the last 40 years, but it's not like it's been a tradition since Test cricket began. I'm open to having the conversation, and I think it deserves to be had. Does it have to be at the MCG each year? I know the WACA would love it in Perth, and I know the SACA would love it in Adelaide. It shouldn't be an absolute rite of passage for the MCG to host Boxing Day, it should be open to conversation."


After the Sheffield Shield match between Victoria and WA was abandoned due to dangerous conditions, Gillespie stated he'd like to see changes to the drop-in wickets around the country.


"Let's go back to cricket blocks! We understand there's multi-purpose facilities and drop-in wickets are more favourable at those locations, but in Australia at those venues we've seen a decline in reverse swing because the ball isn't having that natural deterioration. So what we're seeing is curators wanting to even the contest up between bat and ball, but as we've seen at the MCG they might not quite get it right and it can cause problems."


When asked for his tip for the series against New Zealand, Gillespie thought it would be a close one.


"Australia 2-1! I think New Zealand will bag a victory in one of the games, but Australia will prevail."


The pink ball Test gets underway at Perth Stadium today at 1pm WST.


IMAGE: AFP PHOTO


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