Energy company Energex will have additional staff on site at the Gabba stadium in a bid to ensure the forthcoming day-night Test match between Australia and Sri Lanka isn’t affected by the same issues that caused the abandonment of a Big Bash League (BBL) game last week.
The Test match is due to commence tomorrow (Thursday) and comes at a time when the Brisbane venue, a historic part of Australia’s international cricket season, is under increasing pressure to maintain its position in the calendar.
Last week’s BBL game between the Brisbane Heat and Sydney Thunder was hit by an energy outage that caused a loss of power to one of the light towers and a section of the stadium. The outage eventually led to the match being abandoned, causing protests from the visiting team, who had been well on course for victory.
The ESPNCricinfo website said that while officials are confident the same issue won’t affect the Test, contingency measures have been put in place. However, this will reportedly not involve the use of portable backup generators as there is believed to be not enough room at the Gabba to house them.
The Gabba unveiled a new state of the art lighting system (pictured) ahead of its staging of a Twenty20 international between Australia and India in November. The project to install multi-coloured lighting in the stadium canopy was finalised just in time for the game on November 21.
Australia has not lost a Test at the Gabba since 1988, but the venue is facing increasing competition in the stadium market. The Gabba failed to land a Test for the recent series against India, while next summer is set to feature five Tests instead of the six currently in place.
Meanwhile, the Brisbane Times newspaper has reported that the compensation policy announced in the wake of last week’s BBL abandonment has failed to bear fruit. Cricket Australia and Queensland Cricket last week announced that they would offer ticket-holders from the abandoned game complimentary tickets to attend this week’s day-night Test.
The two organisations said attendees would be able to choose to attend one day of the Test against Sri Lanka for free in the wake of the no-result in the BBL game. However, the Times reports that only 14,000 tickets have been released by Cricket Australia, far short of the 26,644 fans that attended Thursday’s BBL match.
“We had the allocation given to us by Cricket Australia in good faith, there were enough overs bowled (in the Big Bash game) to constitute the non-refund policy,” a Queensland Cricket spokesman said. “The allocation per day was communicated to people within 24 hours of the match ending. The spectators whose details we had were sent an email from Brisbane Heat explaining how to redeem those tickets.
“It was unfortunate for the lights to go out but it was out of the control of the stadium, Brisbane Heat and the event organisers. For the remaining Heat games and Test match… Energex will be on site and able to react quickly if something happens.”
Image: The Gabba