WACA confirmed to host Perth Ashes Test
New Perth Stadium will not be ready in time for December 14 Ashes Test, WA Government confirms
10 May 2017, 01:32 PM AEST
The third Ashes Test will be played at the traditional Perth venue of the WACA with the Western Australia government today confirming the new stadium would not be ready in time.
Cricket Australia had been hoping to open the new state-of-the-art 60,000 seat stadium at Burswood with an Ashes Test match, but construction delays have ruled out that possibility.
The Burswood venue just last month installed five drop-in pitches, but with Australia expected to field a pace heavy bowling line-up with Mitchell Starc, Patrick Cummins, James Pattinson and Josh Hazlewood all hitting form and fitness, the WACA move is least likely to be welcomed by England's batsmen.
"It's good now we have some certainty around where the Perth Test match is going to be played," CA chief executive James Sutherland said today.
"We received advice yesterday in meetings with government … that the new Perth stadium would not be ready in time for the Perth Ashes Test.
"Coming to Perth, we knew it needed to be finished ahead of time and everything needed to come together, but it's still disappointing. We were really hoping 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."
Sutherland confirmed there would still be a priority pre-sale for Australian Cricket Family members, but no on-sale date could be confirmed yet.
The WACA Ground has hosted many memorable moments in Ashes history, including Adam Gilchrist's whirlwind century against a beleagured Andrew Flintoff captained England in 2006.
It was also the venue where Austraia regained the Ashes urn in 2013 on the back of a Mitchell Johnson-inspired pace blitz. The same match saw George Bailey hit James Anderson for 28 runs in a single over, with Australia's dominance prompting Graeme Swann into an early retirement mid-series.
Sutherland said there was 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 for another summer.
"Part of the good news is there's still a very strong chance the one-day international will be played at the new Perth Stadium," Sutherland said.
"At this stage it is probably unlikely any of the BBL or WBBL matches will be played at the new stadium.
"There is a slight chance the final could be played at the new Perth Stadium (but) let's wait and see with that."
An update from the Perth Stadium Project claimed the stadium is "82 per cent complete" with 53,000 seats currently installed and more than 1,200 construction workers on site. The update also claims "Perth Stadium is on schedule to open in time for the start of the 2018 Australian Football League season".
Tickets for the other four Ashes Tests and remaining men's international matches went on general sale earlier this week, with strong demand for many days across the summer.
Ashes tickets are on sale now
Click the ‘Buy tickets’ link next to the match you wish to attend or visit cricket.com.au/tickets for more information
2017-18 International Fixtures:
Men's Ashes Series
First Test Gabba, November 23-27. Buy tickets
Second Test Adelaide Oval, December 2-6 (Day-Night). Buy tickets
Third Test WACA Ground, December 14-18. Join the ACF
Fourth Test MCG, December 26-30. Buy tickets
Fifth Test SCG, January 4-8 (Pink Test). Buy tickets
ODI Series v England
First ODI MCG, January 14. Buy tickets
Second ODI Gabba, January 19. Buy tickets
Third ODI SCG, January 21. Buy tickets
Fourth ODI Adelaide Oval, January 26. Buy tickets
Fifth ODI WACA Ground, January 28. Join the ACF
Prime Minister's XI
PM's XI v England Manuka Oval, February 2. Buy tickets
T20 trans-Tasman Tri-Series
First T20I Australia v NZ, SCG, February 3. Buy tickets
Second T20I – Australia v England, Blundstone Arena, February 7. Buy tickets
Third T20I – Australia v England, MCG, February 10. Buy tickets
Fourth T20I – NZ v England, Wellington, February 14
Fifth T20I – NZ v Australia, Eden Park, February 16
Sixth T20I – NZ v England, Seddon Park, February 18
Final – TBC, Eden Park, February 21