Perth’s Optus Stadium will be fitted with a three-tiered grassed area for the Test cricket match between Australia and Pakistan next month, in a nod to one of the traditions at the WACA Ground.
The match, which will take place from December 14-18, will be rebranded as The West Test as part of plans to recreate part of the WACA Ground at the 60,000-seat Optus Stadium.
The famous WACA Ground is currently being reshaped into a 10,000-seat ‘boutique venue’. The stadium was a regular host of Test matches before Optus Stadium opened in 2018 and emerged as Western Australia’s premier international cricket venue.
For next month’s Test, Optus Stadium will feature a hill section, with four bays of seating to be temporarily removed to make way for an area that can hold up to 500 spectators. Grass banks were a noticeable feature of the old WACA Ground, and The West Test Hill is set to become an annual experience at Optus Stadium.
NRMA Insurance has teamed up with Cricket Australia to serve as the presenting partner of the experience, which will include a family area with games for children and shaded seating spaces for fans.
Next year’s women’s Test match between Australia and South Africa at the WACA Ground will also carry the ‘West Test’ name.
Joel Morrison, general manager of events and operations at Cricket Australia, said: “International cricket in Perth has always been one of the great events of the Australian summer. The ‘West Test’ will take this to another level combining world-class action on the field with brilliant experiences for fans within the stadium, including on ‘The Hill’ thanks to the support of NRMA Insurance.
“The historic rivalry between Australia and Pakistan has been rekindled since our long-awaited tour to Pakistan last year so there is no better way to launch men’s international cricket this summer via the West Test in one of the world’s great cities.”
WA Cricket chief executive Christina Matthews added: “The West Test will give Western Australians something to be proud of – women’s and men’s Test matches that feel uniquely ours and showcase our brilliant stadia to the world.
“The first step in the transformation of our men’s Test is The Hill, providing WA cricket fans with a new way to experience Australia’s clash with Pakistan at our world-class Perth Stadium. We look forward to working with CA and all partners in the game to continue developing The West Test event as we move towards series against India and England in coming years.”
After the first Test of the men’s series between Australia and Pakistan at Optus Stadium, matches will take place at the Melbourne Cricket Ground from December 26-30, and at the Sydney Cricket Ground from January 3-7.