Gabba to host test in Australia-India series, Perth misses out

Friday, 29 May 2020 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Melbourne (Reuters): Australia will host India at their Gabba stronghold in the opening match of the four-test series and Adelaide will stage the nations’ first pink ball test, but Perth has missed out on a match in the lucrative tour.

Western Australia (WA) had hoped to host Virat Kohli’s India at the state’s Perth Stadium but were defeated by Queensland’s bid for a match at the Gabba, where Australia have not lost a test in over 30 years.

WA will instead kick off the home summer with a one-off day-night test against Afghanistan on Nov. 21, Cricket Australia confirmed on Thursday, a consolation prize that the Western Australian Cricket Association (WACA) were less than thrilled about.

WACA boss Christina Matthews was “astounded” that the two-year-old Perth Stadium had been overlooked for India in favour of Brisbane’s Gabba, the most dated of Australia’s major stadiums, and said it could cost the WACA up to A$4 million (2.16 million pounds) in lost membership fees. “All the metrics associated with cricket over the last two years see us surpass Brisbane in every area, whether that’s crowds, broadcast ratings, even better rainfall at that time of year, more corporate seats ... and a brand new stadium,” Matthews told reporters in Perth on Thursday.

Perth Stadium was given a match in the last home series against India in 2018/19, with the Gabba missing out.

Australia, depleted by the ball-tampering suspensions to David Warner and Steve Smith, won the Perth match but lost the series 2-1.

Australia will play India in their first day-night test from Dec. 11 at Adelaide Oval. India declined the offer of a pink ball test in 2018/19.

Melbourne and Sydney retain the traditional Boxing Day and New Year tests respectively.

All cricket was suspended in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic and international travel restrictions remain but India’s board have said their team would be willing to tour Australia and comply with strict bio-security measures to make it happen.