WA not giving up on India Test: Waldron
WACA Chairman Terry Waldron says the state will keep the door open for a Test match against India at Optus Stadium in 2020, despite being snubbed by Cricket Australia on Thursday.
Waldron, an experienced administrator who formerly served as the state’s Minister for Sport, said it was a ‘kick in the guts’ to be overlooked for the India series.
“We’re extremely disappointed. We have left no stone unturned to try and secure this Test match,” Waldron told Sports Drive on Thursday.
“It’s really disappointing we haven’t received the India Test match. In my opinion Cricket Australia has made the wrong decision. I just find it really difficult to understand.”
Optus Stadium has been voted the number one sporting stadium in Australia in it’s opening two years since being opened in January 2018, and the second-best Test venue in the country by fans.
Waldron said CA’s call to go with the Gabba rather than Optus Stadium for the first Test beggared belief.
“You’re playing India, one of the great countries in the world. Our TV ratings and crowds are far better than Brisbane, the standard of our stadium. It just doesn’t make sense.” He said.
Waldron said the state’s cricket board deserved answers as to why the venue had been shunned.
“This is very costly for cricket in WA, financially for the WACA and for our loyal members,” he said.
“The government invested in a big stadium. When we got snubbed for an India Test some years ago the reason given was we needed to have a decent stadium. They pushed the WACA to get on board and go with the Perth Stadium, and now they are not using it. Seems silly to me.”
Instead of a Test match against India, the state will host Afghanistan in a one-off Test in November, the fledgling cricket nation’s first Test on Australian soil.
The venue is yet to be determined, with an agreement in place with Optus Stadium to host Test matches at the ground, but the smaller WACA Ground the more suitable venue.
Waldron anticipated the venue would be resolved in due course but had not given up hope of a backflip from CA in regards to hosting India in December.
“We’ll get on and make sure that we do the best we can and have a great Test against Afghanistan. Players like Rashid Khan, they’re an emerging cricket nation so we’ll make it a great cricket event,” he said.
“You never know what can happen as times goes on, with the COVID-19 situation things could always change. We’re not giving up but we’ve got to get on and plan for a Test against Afghanistan.”
The venue snub is the latest hit for the WACA organisation, who have been hit hard by CA funding cuts in recent days and have been forced to lay off staff.
Waldron confirmed the WACA contracts list for the men’s and women’s teams would be confirmed in the coming days.
IMAGES: Yahoo! Sport and Albany Advertiser.