The Gabba’s position in Australian cricket’s venue pecking order continues to slide after being overlooked as a venue to host world No.1 Test side India this summer.
Cricket Australia boss James Sutherland admitted it was “pretty clear that the Gabba has slipped down the rankings” after announcing Brisbane would instead host Sri Lanka in a day-night Test in January.
New stadiums in Perth and Adelaide have leapfrogged the outdated Gabba, where Australia has traditionally played the first Test of each summer and not lost since 1988.
India will play Tests in Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney, with the Gabba to join Canberra’s Manuka Oval hosting Sri Lanka in a far less prestigious two-Test series.
The Gold Coast’s Metricon Stadium will stage international cricket for the first time with a T20 against South Africa slated for November 17, four days before the Gabba holds an Australia-India T20 clash.
The Gabba Test, which falls during Australia Day celebrations, is a reminder that the venue is no longer in the same league as those in rival states.
“Both these stadiums (in Perth and Adelaide) are modern, state-of-the-art stadiums,” Sutherland said.
“The Gabba was that once and I’m sure it will be again … there’s nothing to say that in the future the first Test of an Ashes series won’t continue to be at the Gabba.”
Queensland Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington attacked the state Labor government for losing the first Test of the summer.
“It’s simply just not cricket,” she said.
“This is a real kick in the guts for all cricket lovers.”
Queensland’s tourism minister, Kate Jones, said a review of stadium management was currently underway, and pointed to “the world’s best rugby league stadium” at Suncorp Stadium.
“But a day-night game at the Gabba, on Australia Day, we know it will deliver record crowds and that’s a win for the economy.”
While the Adelaide Oval will now host the first Test of the summer, South Australian Premier Steven Marshall is upset the state has lost its traditional Australia Day day-night match in the reformatted schedule.