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The Roar


Is the 'West Test' going to fill seats in Perth this summer, or will Western Australians keep ignoring red ball cricket?

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Roar Guru
8th November, 2023

The opening test of the summer should be five action-pack days of test cricket on a bouncy deck at Perth Stadium.

Instead, we are reduced to gimmicks and the possibility of another low crowd watching Australia and Pakistan in the searing cake tin.

ABC cricket broadcaster Jim Maxwell criticised the attempt to convert a football stadium into a cricket ground, suggesting to just go back to the WACA.

There has been difficulty in getting West Australians to attend red ball contests at Perth Stadium. If only 5124 people turn up for an AFL contest, questions would be raised about the suitability of the venue for hosting events.

Optus Stadium Test cricket

Can Test cricket at Perth Stadium bring the crowds back?(Paul Kane – CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images/Getty Images)

However, for cricket matches, the number of empty or filled seats is not a concern as everything comes down to profit, as seen during the Cricket World Cup.

On Monday, it was reported that an artificial hill would be constructed at Perth Stadium, which would accommodate 500 patrons at a time and give it a WACA vibe.


In the future, if the test match is played at the WACA, it would still be considered a suitable cricket ground. Sometimes, a smaller stadium with a smaller crowd creates a better product for TV and live audiences.

Even when half-full, the atmosphere remains lively in England’s smaller venues with capacities between 30,000 and 10,000 people.

A return to the original home of cricket in Western Australia could be a circuit breaker.

The WACA is rich in history, from its iconic pitch to its light towers.

With a $75 million makeover that will turn it into a 10,000-seat boutique venue, why not go back to where test cricket is played in Western Australia?

If test cricket were not played at the Gabba, there would be resentment from all cricket fans.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 30: Marnus Labuschagne of Australia bats during day one of the First Test match between Australia and the West Indies at Optus Stadium on November 30, 2022 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney - CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

Marnus Labuschagne bats against the West Indies at Perth Stadium in 2022. (Photo by Quinn Rooney – CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)


The Gabba is set to have its own remodel due to Olympic hosting duties, which will impact both AFL and cricket.

This year’s upcoming test match against Pakistan will be another acid test for the Perth Stadium which has not had the full backing of the cricket public in the past years.

The series itself will be headlined by David Warner’s farewell tour and a resurgent Pakistan side, which will be looking to change the narrative of past Pakistan sides that have struggled in Australia in past series.

Pat Cummins’ side will host the West Indies in a later series, who have been in shambles since missing the World Cup, leading to another ugly series where the Aussies could embarrass another poor Windies side.

But the cricket gods could change the fate – you never know.

Pakistan’s World Cup form is looking good and could take that in this year’s summer series.

After last year’s series, the West Indies hopefully learned their lessons and may challenge a test side, which could be experimenting with different players.


With an expected feast of cricket set to hit the Aussie Summer, the Perth test could be long forgotten once the last ball is bowled in March. However, let’s hope it is remembered for all the right reasons.