Cricket Australia ‘The Hill’ way to woo fans


The West Test at Optus Stadium Image: @WACA_Cricket (X)

Test matches in Perth (Australia) will now be known as the ‘West Test’ and the Optus Stadium will feature a hill-like space as Cricket Australia attempts to win back the hearts of the Western Australia cricket fans.

‘The West Australian’ stated that across five days, a total of just 42,517 fans attended the Optus Stadium Test between Australia and the West Indies last December – the first Test in Perth since the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

The 61,266-capacity Perth Stadium, currently known as the Optus Stadium for sponsorship reasons, is a multipurpose stadium in Perth, Western Australia, located in the suburb of Burswood. It was completed in late 2017 and officially opened on January 21st, 2018.

Jolimont (Australia)-based Cricket Australia (CA), formerly known as the Australian Cricket Board (ACB), is the governing body for professional and amateur cricket in Australia. It was originally formed in 1905 as the ‘Australian Board of Control for International Cricket’. It is incorporated as an Australian Public Company, limited by guarantee.

‘The West Australian’ further stated that the crowds marked a significant drop from when Perth hosted Tests against New Zealand in 2019 and India in 2018.

In those Tests, 20,746 fans attended Day One alone against India, and 19,084 flocked to see the Opening Day against the Black Caps (New Zealand).

Western Australia Cricket has been looking at ways to ensure the Perth Test becomes an iconic part of the Australian cricket calendar – much like the Boxing Day Test at the 100,000-capacity MCG in Melbourne, the Pink Test at the 48,000-capacity Sydney Cricket Ground in Moore Park (the first Test played in Sydney every year) and the pink-ball Test at the 53,500-capacity Adelaide Oval in North Adelaide.

The Boxing Day Test is a cricket match that takes place annually on December 26th. The match is played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in Melbourne, Australia. The Australian cricket team plays against a national team that is touring Australia during the Southern Summer.

A pink-ball Test is a day-night test cricket match played with a pink ball instead of a red one. The first-ever day-night Test was contested between Australia and New Zealand on November 27th, 2015 at the Adelaide Oval in Adelaide, Australia. Since then, more than 20 Test matches have been played in the day-night format. Australia has played 11 of the 21 pink-ball Tests and has won all of them.

Cricket Australia is also keen to ensure that Western Australia remains a strong supporter base for cricket.

Apart from being rebranded as the ‘West Test’, a new in-stadium experience known as ‘The West Test Hill’ will also be unveiled for this Summer’s clash between Australia and Pakistan in Perth, starting on December 14th.

To be built across four bays at the Optus Stadium, ‘The West Test Hill’ will feature three tiers and will house up to 500 patrons at a time.

A portion of seats at the 60,000-capacity stadium will be taken out to accommodate the ‘hill’.

The temporary area will mimic to some degree the famous grass banks that were a feature at the 24,500-capacity WACA Ground in East Perth, which is currently being redeveloped.

Additionally, the women’s Test match between Australia and South Africa will also carry the ‘West Test’ name.

The Western Australia Cricket Chief Executive Christina Matthews said in a statement, “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 Western Australia 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 Cricket Australia and all the partners in the game to continue developing The West Test event as we move towards series against India and England in the coming years.”

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