The WACA hosted its first Test in 1970 between Australia and England © Getty Images
The WACA hosted its first Test in 1970 between Australia and England © Getty Images

Nov 13, 2014

Australia’s iconic Western Australian Cricket Association (WACA) stadium, which has been the fortress for the nation’s cricket, might cease to be a Test match venue by 2018 when the new Perth stadium is ready.

It’s reportedly hoped that the struggling stadium that launched the brilliant career of fast bowling icon Dennis Lillee would continue to be the sport’s spiritual home in the west as host to Sheffield Shield matches and more minor internationals.

However, it seems inevitable that all big-ticket cricket events like Ashes Test matches, ODIs and Twenty20 blockbusters would be moved to the Perth Stadium, News.com.au reported.

The 60,000-seat multipurpose venue would be fully operational for the start of the 2018 AFL season, and plans to become the country’s latest and greatest cricket ground with a drop-in wicket, which would attempt to match the bite of the famously fast and bouncy WACA deck.

Despite the impact Perth Stadium would have on its cricket content, the WACA is not at odds with the government-funded venue, and is actually a consultant for ensuring the world-class facility properly meets cricket’s requirements.

Minister for Sport and Recreation Terry Waldron said that all forms of cricket have been catered for as part of the Stadium design. A committee would hand down recommendations on the future of cricket in WA before Christmas, however the future is somewhat bleak for the WACA.

Perth was overlooked as a venue for the reduced Test series this summer against India due to its poor facilities and small capacity, despite the obvious benefits from a television perspective of broadcasting cricket from Perth back into prime time on the east coast and also the city’s similar time zone to India.

WACA chief executive Christina Matthews said that what they would be looking at with the committee is whether it’s financially viable to play at the new stadium or not and what the role would be going forward for the WACA.

Matthews added that they are not talking about competing, adding that they are obviously aware that their stadium is the smallest in the country. He said that their view is that the WACA ground would always continue to exist, the question is what content it has.