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Industry News

Cricket Australia remains hopeful over Ashes Test at Perth Stadium

James Sutherland, chief executive of Cricket Australia (CA), has said he is still hopeful that the new Perth Stadium will be ready in time to host as Ashes Test later this year, adding that a decision could be made before the end of May.

Earlier this month, Perth Stadium looked set to lose out on the Test after a senior government official said there was “no chance” of the venue being ready in time to host the match.

The 60,000-seat multi-use facility had been lined up to host the clash between Australia and England in December as its opening event, but a series of delays to the project has cast doubt over the fixture.

The WACA Ground, which has staged Ashes Tests since 1970, is set to step in as a replacement.

However, according to ESPN, Sutherland said Perth Stadium could still host the Test in December and will this week hold talks with official at the venue to get an update on progress.

“We’re looking towards the end of this month to make a decision,” Sutherland said. “We want to get tickets on sale as soon as possible, give everyone plenty of notice of what needs to get in order, but certainly we’ll continue to have conversations.

“I’m in Perth this week to have some conversations with relevant people and we’ll hopefully, by the end of this month, be able to make announcements about when tickets go on sale.

“From what I understand the stadium will be fully complete and ready to go [in time for the Ashes Test],” Sutherland said. “It’s very much about the logistics and planning.

“The completion dates for the stadium actually work pretty well for us, but at the same time a Test match in Perth at the new stadium would be a huge event, and there’s little room for things to go wrong in terms of teething problems that are in some ways perhaps inevitable.”

However, Sutherland said that although the venue could be ready, there may still be issues in terms of logistics and planning for the event.

“We’re really optimistic about the way in which the event could be staged in the new stadium, we’ve got great confidence in that, but we also understand that through government, through the stadium manager and also the builders, there are a lot of logistics we’re not necessarily across that need to be worked through,” he said.

“We’d love to see the Test match be the opening event for the new stadium, but to some extent that’s out of our control. We’ll just put our best foot forward and try to impress that upon the powers that be in Perth.”