Perth’s $1.6 billion Optus Stadium has reportedly missed out on hosting the Indian cricket team and captain Virat Kohli this summer.
Cricket Australia has been caught in the middle of a tug of war between Perth and Brisbane after Indian cricket authorities confirmed this summer’s tour will only include four tests between Australia and India.
With the MCG, SCG and Adelaide Oval already locked in, the Gabba and Optus Stadium have been competing for months for the rights to host the first test of the series.
The Australian revealed on Wednesday night the Gabba has won the fight and will host the First Test against India, beginning December 3.
The report claims Optus Stadium and the Western Australian state government will be filthy to have missed out, despite its significant investment in the new stadium.
As a consolation prize, Perth will host a one-off Test against Afghanistan at the start of the summer from November 21. However, there is such little interest from spectators that the match will be played back at the WACA.
Cricket Australia has bowed to player power in its decision to start the Indian series in Brisbane, after Aussie captain Tim Paine repeatedly declared his desire for officials last summer to make India play at the Gabba.
India was able to avoid the Gabba during its last tour to Australia in 2018-19 — and went on to win its first ever test series on Aussie soil.
Pat Cummins at Optus Stadium.Source:Getty Images
The Gabba has struggled to attract large crowds for recent test matches and is reportedly in need of corporate facility upgrades — but it’s magical grass has saved Queensland Cricket’s bacon.
Australia have not lost a Test at the Gabba since 1988, undefeated in their last 31 matches at the Gabbatoir.
Paine will be hoping Australia gets off to a winning start in Perth before the reported schedule will see them move on to the Second Test in Adelaide on December 11, the Boxing Day Test at the MCG and the New Year’s Test at the SCG.
Only the Adelaide Test will be played under lights with the pink ball.
Three one-day internationals are also scheduled in between Australia and India for January.
Perth will reportedly have to settle for hosting he opening test against Afghanistan and one of the three ODIs.
The Australian’s chief cricket reporter Peter Lalor said in February there was a “bitter” contest between Perth and Brisbane for the Indian test
“There’s great competition between Brisbane and Perth as to who gets an India Test,” Lalor told SEN.
“This is going to get bitter, particularly if Perth misses out.
“Perth are arguing they have a brand spanking new $1.6 billion stadium, whereas the Gabba is the least of the stadiums on the mainland and needs a lot of money injected into it.
“They’ll have the state government on their side and all that business. I know they’ve put in a proposal to Cricket Australia about why they should have the Test.
“I know that Cricket Australia wrote to CEOs on Monday or Tuesday saying no decision has been made, but I reckon it will probably play out the way we think which is that they’ll play in Brisbane.”
Virat Kohli won’t be in white when he arrives in Perth.Source:AAP
Paine in February cheekily suggested he would be trying to convince Indian captain Virat Kohli to agree to play at the Gabba.
“Yeah, well, we’ll be certainly trying. We’ll have to run that by Virat,” Paine said.
“We’ll get an answer from him at some stage I’m sure.
“(The Gabba is) where we like to start our summer, and it has been for a long, long time except for last summer. So as I said, we’ll ask Virat. See if we can get his permission to play here.
“And maybe even get a pink-ball test if he’s in a good mood.”
Cricket Australia in February claimed Perth had not been overlooked when responding to overseas reports that Brisbane had been selected as the fourth test venue.
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