Politics

Swanky new Perth Stadium keen to poach Boxing Day or New Year Test

PERTH, Australia, The boss of Perth's swanky new stadium, which hosts its maiden Test this week, wants it to be used for a Boxing Day or New Year's Test, traditionally played in Melbourne and Sydney.

Mike McKenna said he was keen to raise the issue with Cricket Australia.

The governing body's contract with the Melbourne Cricket Ground expires at

the end of this summer and their deal with the Sydney Cricket Ground runs out

in 2022.

I know that Cricket Australia will be looking to have those conversations

and I dare say they will have the first conversation with the MCG but if the

opportunity comes to talk to us, we would be very keen to have those

conversations, McKenna told Fairfax newspapers Thursday.

We are always talking behind the scenes. We had a very good conversation

with Cricket Australia and we know what the timings are and what the

opportunities are.

I think the Boxing Day Test match, New Year's Test match, iconic events

like that, if they were to become available, the government over here would

be very keen to look at them, for sure.

Fairfax said Cricket Australia had no immediate intentions of changing its

venue hire agreement with the MCG and the SCG, but had also made clear that

financial returns from Tests were paramount.

The stateoftheart 60,000capacity Perth Stadium, also known as Optus

Stadium, opened in January this year and has since been used to host

Australian Rules football games.

Fast and bouncy

It is the third largest sports ground in Australia and home to the Perth

Scorchers Big Bash League (BBL) team.

England and South Africa played oneday internationals at the venue this

year, but it has yet to host a Test. Fiveday games were previously played at

the venerable WACA Ground, across the Swan River.

That ramshackle venue held its 44th and last Test a year ago, when England

were in town.

Come Friday, new Aus$1.6 billion (US$1.15 billion) stadium will be in the

spotlight when Australia look to level their fourmatch series with India

after crashing in Adelaide by 31 runs. Like the WACA, a fast and bouncy deck

is expected to confront the teams.

I'm really fascinated and can't wait to see what the wicket brings,

Australia coach Justin Langer told reporters. If we can get (WACAstyle pace

and bounce) it'd be a great thing for Test cricket.

So far only four cricket games have been held there, with the home side

ominously losing all of them.

The Perth Scorchers were hammered by 71 runs in a BBL semifinal against

the Hobart Hurricanes earlier this year, and both England and South Africa

beat Australia in onedayers at the venue.

Western Australia then lost to New South Wales in a domestic fourday clash

last month.

Test opener Marcus Harris, a Perth native, has never played at the ground

but denied that the home team losing all four games was a bad omen.

No I don't think it is a hoodoo at all, he told reporters. I wasn't

aware of it (those results) so I'm not too worried about it.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)