The WACA curator Cam Sutherland described the images of people walking and drinking on the Test pitch last night as "unfortunate" but insisted he and his staff were only inspecting the "aesthetics" of the wicket before today's match.
On the eve of the third Test between India and Australia here, Indian television showed images of around a dozen WACA staff standing, drinking and lying on the pitch as Sutherland did a final inspection at around 7.30 pm local time.
Sutherland expressed disappointment that he and his colleagues were made to look unprofessional by the television that appeared to show up to a dozen people standing, drinking and lying on the pitch.
"I was the one that removed covers. I was out doing the work initially and a couple of my staff came out and joined me. We were the ones that were lying on the pitch and that seems to be the issue. Well, yeah, we were working on it," Sutherland told 'ABC Radio'.
"We had an issue when the Adelaide Strikers warmed up on it (before the) Twenty20 game on Sunday, which they weren't supposed to. So we were just looking at the aesthetics of it. "It's too hard to do it on the morning of the game or the day before when they are doing all their markings," he added.
The footage had upset the Indian team management and senior BCCI functionary Rajiv Shukla had said that the Cricket Australia must look into the issue. But Sutherland said the groundstaff were doing the work late as he had other commitments till seven in the evening.
"The reason we were doing it so late was I had other commitments up until seven o'clock when I came back and I hadn't seen it for a few hours. I wanted to have a look and make sure everything was how I wanted it to be," he said.