WACA ground stripped of Test Match in 2014/15.

By Patrick Heisenberg.


It was recently announced that the WACA ground (Perth) has been stripped of hosting its annual test

match for the 2014/15 series against India.


This series will be comprised of four matches whereas generally the Australian test match summer

spans five or six matches. Resultantly the powers that be at Cricket Australia (CA) have deemed the

WACA to be the unfortunate fall-guy. It will be the first time “the WACA” has not hosted its annual test

match in almost 40 years.


This decision has been met with impassioned criticism from the sandgropers and general concern

from the wider Australian cricketing public. Cricket fans will never want their favourite and/or local

venue to miss out, especially one as revered as the WACA. Its reputation as a pace bowler’s dream

is resounding and omnipresent across the cricketing globe. It has also played host to some peerlessly

ferocious, tense and bloody battles over the course of its history.


Cynics have pointed to India and its questionable yet influential administrative juggernaut, the BCCI,

as the source behind this decision. I take issue with a great many things the BCCI do, or don’t do in

the case of DRS, and so too do a great many others. But in this case I believe the ‘enemy’, if we want

to be dramatic, or ‘source’ behind this decision is home-grown.


To underline my point we must first consider which venues will host matches during this series:

Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney. Now let’s look at their approximate patron capacities:

• Brisbane’s ‘Gabba’ has a capacity of roughly 42,000

• The Sydney Cricket Ground holds roughly 44,000 (the figure is presently difficult to define

amidst its current renovation period)

• Adelaide is being extended to around 53,000

• The M.C.G. is a well-known monolith, holding up to 95,000 seated spectators.


The WACA has a capacity of roughly 22,000. That’s around half the size of the smallest venue shown

above. CA’s CEO James Sutherland touched on my not so subtle implication when discussing their

decision. “Though a traditional Test match venue with a proud history, the WACA ground has the

smallest capacity of the five mainland Test venues and has historically attracted lower attendances,”

Now, without clarifying his exact thoughts, I wish to, tongue firmly in cheek, rebut the question “what

22,000 seat ground has higher attendances when compared with grounds that are 2-4 times the size?”

I presume he means that the attendances are lower “per capita”, and on this notion I pose the

question to the infuriated Perth public – “if you care so much, why don’t more of you show up when

you do have a test match?” I believe this is a fair question.


The days of cricket being a gentleman’s game that was solely focused on enjoyment and rivalry are

long gone. There are, to this very day, gentlemanly acts and also fierce rivalries, but behind these

fundamental principles lie the administrators and their KPI’s and monetary-based targets and goals

and views to expansion and global domination.


Test cricket makes money – a lot of money. It makes its money through ticket sales, advertising and

international broadcasting rights. If we accept the unfortunate but true notion that cricket is now

as much of a business as it is a sport, what governing body in their right mind would play a game

in a location that was known to produce less money? It is accepted and acceptable that when the

Australian cricketing calendar has six test matches scheduled for the summer that each of the six

main test match grounds are used. I speak, in this case, of the “one versus the other” selection criteria

for which grounds to use in this shortened test summer, when exclusion of venues is a relevant factor.

Do you choose the ground that looks old, worn and, on its absolute best day, can only seat half its

closest competitor? Or do you choose the ground that is newer, better, seats more people and thus

makes more money? As a passionate fan you pick your favourite ground and/or the one you envision

the biggest advantage or greatest tussle, as a businessman you pick the ground that prints the most

money, results be damned.


The times, they are a-changing. And they have been for a long time now. Western Australian

cricket must acknowledge the obvious and move ahead or this will continue to happen. I for one

love the WACA and would never want that, but if it were to I’d blame those at its helm and not the

businessmen who are currently being presented with a lopsided, weak argument for the WACA

compared to some very strong arguments against it. Money talks in this world, cricket is no longer an



Get to know Patrick Heisenberg on out About Us page.

About Patrick Heisenberg 2 Articles
Heisenberg was born in the wealthy township of Ipswich, Queensland. From this richly cultural locality he flourished as a cynical, sneering critic of most ventures, policies and regimens that were forced upon him. Not content with simply pointing out ‘the alarming wrongs’ he found with things he deemed crucial to the evolution of mankind (namely our newfound and nation-wide deficiency in cricket, a lack of identity regarding what constituted ‘Australian’ food and the appalling narcissism that has crippled society in a post-Facebook ™ world) he began jotting down lists of things he hated and things he felt could be done better. Over time he found that he rather enjoyed immersing himself within this sea of negativity, to the point where he caught the eye of global cynic Theydon Bois after Heisenberg posted a particularly futile and rambling rant to their work-team’s inbox. Kindred spirits, they are now compiling endless amounts of lists and drivel as to what plagues society, mankind, the economy and cricketing sides, all without a skerrick of irony, but with an undeniable veneer of self-righteousness and a complete lack of willingness to opine any resolutions to the problems they identify. Heisenberg lives by the self-built motto ‘I’d rather be right than happy’, an ideology he sticks to religiously to this very day.