Australia news July 15, 2014

Special committee to review WACA future

ESPNcricinfo staff

The future of the WACA in Perth will be reviewed by a special committee under the leadership of businessman Michael Smith. The committee's report, which will be submitted in December, will include recommendations on redevelopment and infrastructure with associated funding options.

The WACA has been facing an uncertain future after a major redevelopment plan was abandoned in December 2013. The project included linking an upgrade of the ground's facilities to the construction of commercial and residential properties on site, but poor pre-sales led to scrapping of the plan.

The ground has also been left out from the summer Test schedule for the first time in 40 years and needs to find a way to fund the improvement in facilities to meet the ICC standards. Despite the uncertainty, the ground will host three World Cup matches in March 2015.

"During the past two years we have invested significant funds in facilities at the WACA Ground, but clearly we need to consider options that meet the current and future expectations of spectators and make watching cricket more enjoyable," Sam Gannon, the WACA chairman, said.

"The new Perth Stadium at Burswood will bring new options for sports such as cricket and football in this State, and how these will fit with existing facilities such as the WACA and Patersons Stadium will be important considerations.

"At this stage the WACA Board remains committed to the WACA Ground continuing to be the home of cricket in Western Australia. The WACA will continue to work to grow cricket in WA and develop facilities that meet the needs of WA fans, teams, grass-roots participants and staff."

The Burswood Stadium is currently under construction opposite the WACA on the east side of the Swan River. The venue will be a multi-purpose and mulit-sport 60,000-seat stadium that the Western Australia minister for sport and recreation Terry Waldron said in December would be fan-friendly from day one.

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  • ESPN on July 18, 2014, 8:59 GMT

    The bouncy WACA wicket is the thing of the past , as part of the reason it's lost it's appeal. Also has the lowest crowds outside the other big 4 venues too. The Gabba is now the quickest wicket in Australia , and it's not a fortress for the Aussies too.

  • David on July 17, 2014, 0:04 GMT

    WA has a great cricket venue and is in a far better financial position than pretty much the rest of the country, but when it comes to sporting infrastructure it lags well behind all other states. It's time the WA Govt looked at supporting cricket in the state instead of turning its back on it.

  • ammiel on July 15, 2014, 23:51 GMT

    Losing the WACA would be a tragedy to Australian cricket! I say this because the memories of the bouncy pitch and some of the finest innings are among my greatest memories of cricket. Ambrose and Walsh loved this place! Hayden scored 380 and my favorite innings ever the Boonie double ton. Lets hope we do not lose this amazing venue.

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