The Indian cricket team will not play a Test match in Perth when they tour Down Under in the Australian summer of 2014-15. This news will be somewhat welcomed considering the Western Australia venue is known for its fast pitch which Indian batsmen are not accustomed to. Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s team succumbed to an innings defeat inside three days when they last played a Test at Perth in January 2012.
Perth misses out because the Australian cricket calendar will witness only four Tests in 2014-15 and someone has to lose a Test. Cricket Australia has made a final call on the basis of size of the ground and facilities which they provide. Indeed, the Western Australia Cricket Association members are sour. But that’s how ruthlessly cricket is run in other parts of the world. In India, the BCCI follows a rotation policy which is fair, but at the same time, the rulers of cricket here condone venues which offer poor facilities in their warped mode of administration. ‘Sins’ committed by venues in India are forgiven in a short span of time.
Sample this: Delhi’s Feroz Shah Kotla rolled out a dangerous pitch which forced the India vs Sri Lanka one-day international to be abandoned on December 27, 2009. Yet, less than 14 months later, it hosted the first of its four World Cup games in 2011. Cricket administrators in India must make it their business to ensure total comfort for spectators apart from laying out the best facilities for players and the media. Any venue falling short should be duly dropped from the list. Or is that too much to expect from a vote-driven cricket set-up?