WACA to host Ashes as Perth Stadium construction ‘delayed’

Melbourne [Australia], May 10 : The third Ashes Test between Australia and England in December will be held at the traditional Perth venue of the WACA, after the West Australian government confirmed that there is no chance of the new stadium being ready in time.

Dejectedly announcing the news, Cricket Australia Chief Executive James Sutherland said that they had been hoping that the 60,000-seat venue in Burswood would be ready to host the December 14-18 match, but construction delays had ruled out the same.

"Well I guess it's good now we have some certainty around where the Perth Test match is going to be played this year as part of the Ashes series.

It'll be played here at the WACA Ground across the river. We received advice yesterday in meetings with government, [WACA CEO] Christina Matthews, [WACA president] Ken Michael and myself received the news that the new Perth Stadium wouldn't be ready for the Ashes Test match," ESPNcricinfo quoted Sutherland as saying.

"Coming over here to Perth on this trip, we did know that it needed to be finished ahead of time and everything needed to come together, but it was still disappointing.

We were really hoping that the Test match could be played at this magnificent new stadium. Nonetheless there's lots to look forward to, with tickets to go on sale very shortly," he added. Sutherland, however, said that there is a "very strong chance" for the January 28 one-day international between Australia and England to be played at the venue, while men's and women's Big Bash League games are expected to remain at the WACA Ground.

"The meetings we had yesterday led us to believe it is still a very strong chance that the ODI on Sunday the 28th of January next year will be played at the new Perth Stadium.

I was very fortunate to have a tour of the new stadium yesterday and it really is exciting to see an absolutely brilliant, state-of-the-art sporting stadium - Perth fans don't yet know what they have been missing out on," Sutherland said.

"At this stage the way the timing works it's probably unlikely that any of the Big Bash League or Women's Big Bash League matches will be played at the new stadium.

There is a slight chance that if we get to finals time that the final could be played at the new Perth Stadium, and we know West Australians like to think the final's played in Perth every year, but let's wait and see with that.

It certainly would be wonderful," he added. According to an update from the Perth Stadium Project, the stadium is "82 per cent complete" with 53,000 seats currently installed and more than 1,200 construction workers on site.

The five-match Ashes Test series will start in Brisbane from November 23, with Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney also hosting matches.

Source: ANI