WACA beer party incident will hurt Australia's image: Media

Indian television showed images of around a dozen WACA staff standing, drinking and lying on the pitch hours before the third Test match Getty Images

Perth: Jan 14, 2012

The on-pitch beer party by the WACA staff, hours before the Perth match, is an insult to Test cricket and a political disaster, a media report has said.

An Indian TV channel showed footage of a few men and women sitting and drinking beer on the WACA pitch, the night before the Perth Test between India and Australia.

The WACA curator had said it was just a customary celebration after a good work ahead of the match.

However, a report in Daily Telegraph slammed the behaviour by the WACA staff.

“Australians it seems will drink anytime anywhere without any respect or regard. Is there anything more sacred or central to a Test match than the pitch on the evening before the match?” the report asked.

“What an insult to Test cricket and the visiting Indian team,” it added.

The report lauded Curator Cameron Sutherland’s stupendous job in preparing a lively pitch for the match but was critical of his and his team’s behaviour.

“Curator Cam Sutherland, who has done a terrific job rebuilding the WACA pitch into a fast and lively strip, went out into the middle and took the covers off for 10 minutes to check his handiwork. Staff having a traditional pre-Test drink followed him out there. No big deal they thought.

“But this was and is a political disaster.”

Malcolm Conn stated in his article that the incident would affect Australia’s image and also took a dig at the so called heavy security at WACA.

“The more hysterical, nationalist elements of a large and diverse Indian cricket media will jump on every opportunity to reinforce the undercurrent of Australia as an arrogant, racist country.

“So when overzealous and heavy-handed security at the WACA is imposed on those outside the fence, including the 100 strong Indian media corps, what are they to think of Australians allowed to wander around on the pitch drinking?

The writer was also critical of WACA chief executive Graeme Wood’s remarks that his staff did nothing wrong.

“Wood should know better than most about international incidents. He was part of the Australian touring team to Pakistan in 1988 which threatened to return home because of perceived biased umpiring.

“Surely Wood can t honestly believe that vision of his staff drinking on the Test pitch leading up to one of the very few big days in the year at his ground is the type of image Australia should be presenting to the cricket world.” (PTI)