WACA Ground

WACA Ground
Ground information
Location East Perth, Western Australia
Coordinates 31°57′36″S 115°52′47″E / 31.96000°S 115.87972°E / -31.96000; 115.87972
Establishment 1890
Capacity 20,000[1]
Owner Western Australian Cricket Association
End names
Members End
Prindiville Stand End
International information
First Test 11–16 December 1970:
 Australia v  England
Last Test 3-7 November 2016:
 Australia v  South Africa
First ODI 9 December 1980:
 India v  New Zealand
Last ODI 12 January 2016:
 Australia v  India
First T20I 11 December 2007:
 Australia v  New Zealand
Last T20I 31 October 2010:
 Australia v  Sri Lanka
Team information
Western Australia (Cricket) (1899–)
Perth Football Club (WAFL) (1899–1958)
West Coast Eagles (AFL) (1987–2000)
Fremantle Football Club (AFL) (1995–2000)
Perth Scorchers (BBL) (2011–)
Perth Scorchers Women (WBBL) (2015-)
WA Reds (ARL/SL) (1995–1997)
As of 7 November 2016
Source: ESPNcricinfo

The WACA /ˈwækə/ is a sports stadium in Perth, Western Australia. The stadium's name derives from the initials of its owners and operators, the Western Australian Cricket Association.

The WACA has been Western Australia's "home of cricket" since the early 1890s, with Test cricket played at the ground since the 1970–71 season.[2] The ground is the home venue of Western Australia's first-class cricket team, the Western Warriors, and a Women's National Cricket League side, the Western Fury. The Perth Scorchers, a Big Bash League franchise, also play at the ground, which is branded #TheFurnace for those matches.[3]

The pitch at the WACA is regarded as one of the quickest and bounciest in the world. These characteristics, in combination with the afternoon sea-breezes which regularly pass the ground (the Fremantle Doctor), have historically made the ground an attractive place for pace and swing bowlers. The outfield is exceptionally fast, contributing to the ground seeing some very fast scoring – as of February 2016, four of the nine fastest Test centuries have been scored at the WACA.[4]

Throughout its history, the ground has also been used for a range of other sports, including athletics carnivals, Australian rules football, baseball, soccer, rugby league, rugby union, and international rules football. However, recent years have seen most of these activities relocated to other venues. It has also been used for major rock concerts.

Early history

An early coloured image of the Association ground in about 1910, looking north, with a large crowd watching a game in progress. Note the original 1890s stand is evidently packed.

William Henry Wise, a gardener who came to WA from England in 1880, laid the first turf wicket at the WACA. Wise was personal gardener to Sir George Shenton, of Crawley. In addition to his work at the WACA Ground, he laid the first tennis court on the Perth Esplanade.

The Western Australian Cricket Association was officially established on 25 November 1885 under the Presidency of JCH James. In 1893, the WACA ground was officially opened, occupying a site of old swamp land to the east of the city. The Association has a 999-year lease over the land (which expires in 2888). The long term of the lease means that, effectively, the Association has freehold title (save that it cannot divest itself of any part of the land without the state government's consent). Originally, the title covered 29 acres (117,000 m²), and took in what is now Gloucester Park. However, the latter part of the land was divested to the Trotting Association in the early 1920s. In a curious twist, between 1977 and 1979, (then-rebel) World Series Cricket matches were played at Gloucester Park because the Kerry Packer-led organisation was not granted access to the WACA.

The first match played on the turf wickets took place in February 1894. However, difficulties encountered in transporting teams to Western Australia meant that the ground was not part of Australia's main cricket community for many years. Even with the building of a transcontinental railway, the trip from the eastern states still took several days. It took the introduction of scheduled flights to Western Australia to make the WACA readily accessible to interstate or overseas teams.

James Gardiner, president of the WACA for three terms between 1897 and 1924, proposed the adoption of 'electorate' cricket (as it was first known) whereby teams were established on a district basis for competition.[5] He also inaugurated Country Week cricket, during which country teams compete against each other.[6] In 1907, the WACA ground was under threat of being controlled by the Perth City Council to recover debts. Gardiner led the bid to save the ground and secured a government loan.[7] Further financial difficulties led Gardiner to again raise funds and donations with a cricket match by the Australian XI team in 1912.[7]

Ground developments

The WACA scoreboard at its opening in December 1953
The WACA Scoreboard in 2015

The WACA ground, like many stadiums of its era, has undergone various re-developments. The most notable are:

The WACA facing north, showing the Inverarity Stand (left) and the Prindiville Stand (right)

These redevelopments also made the venue an attractive venue for sports other than cricket, and it was during the late 1980s and early 1990s that the ground saw its greatest use as a multi-sports venue. From 1987 to 2000, the ground was used by the West Coast Eagles, and from 1995 by the Fremantle Dockers, both Perth-based AFL teams. 72 AFL matches were held at the ground during this time. From 1995 to 1997 the WACA also served as the home ground for the Western Reds rugby league team. In the late 1990s the ground played host to the Perth Heat in the former Australian Baseball League (1989-1999).

However, for various reasons these sports moved away from the WACA (in the case of night football, to Subiaco Oval), and as a consequence the WACA was again redeveloped in 2002. The capacity of the ground was reduced to around 20,000 and the dimensions of the playing arena were also decreased by a total of 31 metres at the eastern and western boundaries, meaning Australian rules football could no longer be played at the ground. From time to time, temporary stands are used to boost the ground's capacity to 24,500.

In 2013, a new video screen was installed at the WACA near the old scoreboard, replacing one of the old temporary screens.

The WACA Museum (located on-site) features exhibits about Western Australian cricket.

Proposed further development

In April 2007 the Western Australian Cricket Association announced a $250m redevelopment of the stadium. Seating capacity was to be increased, with residential and commercial buildings built in the surrounding areas.[9] The project was to be done in partnership with Ascot Capital Limited with a three- to four-year time frame.[10][11] WACA members gave final approval for the project in July 2010 and construction was expected to commence in March 2011.[12] However, by November 2011 work on the redevelopment had still yet to commence, and it was reported that delays could continue for years. Although the project received finance, tax office and members approval, adverse market conditions were believed to have made the project unfeasible.[13] The redevelopment was also the subject of a dispute between the WACA and the Australian Cricketers Association, with the players' union seeking 26 per cent of the value of the project.[13][14]

Perth Scorchers taking on Hobart Hurricanes at The WACA Ground in 2011

In November 2012 the WACA and Ascot Capital Limited commenced selling 137 apartments in "The Gardens", a planned 10-storey residential complex to be located on the western boundary line of the ground.[15] Construction of The Gardens was expected to commence mid-2013 and be completed by mid-2015.[16] The agreement between the WACA and Ascot Capital would have seen new northern grandstands, an increase in ground capacity and a long term revenue stream. However, in December 2013 the WACA has released a statement that it had abandoned the so-called Gardens Development because it was unable to achieve the pre-sales target in order to finance the project.[17]

In September 2013 Cricket Australia announced that the WACA ground would not host a Test match in the shortened 2014/15 season to accommodate the 2015 Cricket World Cup, a decision which left Perth without a summer test match for the first time in nearly 40 years. Cricket Australia said the WACA Ground required significant improvements, given it has the smallest capacity of the five mainland capital city venues.[18]

From the 2018/19 summer, the WACA Ground will cease to serve as the primary international cricket venue in Perth. The new 60,000 seat stadium being constructed in Burswood will host limited overs internationals, Test matches against high-drawing opponents (England, India and South Africa), and domestic Big Bash League (BBL) matches for Perth Scorchers. The WACA Ground will continue to host Tests against lower-drawing opponents, Sheffield Shield matches, and will be redeveloped into the state's leading cricket training facility.[19]

Notable events at the WACA


Cricket museum

The WACA has a cricket museum just next to the ground. Visitors can view memorabilia of Australian cricket. They display not only the history of cricket, but also other sports played at the WACA.

See also


  1. "WACA Ground". austadiums.com. Austadiums. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
  2. The Ashes – 2nd Test Australia v England
  3. #THEFURNACE perthscorchers.com.au. Retrieved on 20 Dec, 2015
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ESPNcricinfo. "Records / Test matches / Batting records / Fastest hundreds". ESPN. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
  5. The West Australian, 29 October 1928.
  6. Western Australian Cricketing Association 1924, Annual Report 1923, Perth.
  7. 1 2 Barker A.J. (1997). The WACA: An Australian Cricket Success Story. Allen & Unwin, St. Leonard.
  8. "New Stand.". Geraldton Guardian and Express (WA : 1929 – 1947). WA: National Library of Australia. 12 September 1930. p. 2. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
  9. EPRA projects: WACA EPRA website, November 2008.
  10. WACA secures its Home and Financial Future Sportsaustralia.com, 13 April 2007
  11. $250m plan to revamp WACA revealed The Sydney Morning Herald 13 April 2007.
  12. "Development Agreement with Ascot Capital Ltd Approved". WACA. 28 July 2010.
  13. 1 2 John Townsend, WACA redevelopment in jeopardy The West Australian 15 November 2011.
  14. Robert Craddock, Australian Cricketers Association and WACA in conflict over real estate development, The Herald Sun, January 12, 2012.
  15. Marissa Lague, WACA view holds big appeal for apartments, The West Australian, 28 November 2012.
  16. Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority, Projects: WACA.
  17. ABC News, WACA abandons plan for apartments on site to fund upgrade of ground, 17 December 2013.
  18. ABC News WACA upset over loss of Perth Test match for 2014-15, 17 December 2013.
  19. "WACA to shift Test matches to new Perth Stadium at Burswood". WAToday. 3 September 2015. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  20. "Western Australia v South Australia, 1898–99". ESPNcricinfo. ESPN Inc. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  21. ESPNcricinfo. "Sheffield Shield / Pura Cup / Records / Best bowling figures in an innings". ESPN. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  22. Abhishek Mukherjee (29 March 2013). "Sarfraz tanks non-striker Hilditch for picking up stray ball and giving it to him by appeal for handling the ball". Retrieved 11 January 2014.
  23. 1 2 3 ESPNcricinfo. "Sheffield Shield / Pura Cup / Records / High scores". ESPN. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  24. 1 2 ESPNcricinfo. "Sheffield Shield / Pura Cup / Records / Highest partnership by wicket". ESPN. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  25. 1 2 ESPNcricinfo. "Sheffield Shield / Pura Cup / Records / Highest partnership by runs". ESPN. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  26. ESPNcricinfo. "Records / Test matches / Team records / Highest fourth innings totals". ESPN. Retrieved 1 December 2012.
  27. David Warner double-century Fox Sports 13 November 2015
  28. Ross Taylor ticks off records during epic 290 The Times of India 16 November 2015

External links

Coordinates: 31°57′36″S 115°52′47″E / 31.96000°S 115.87972°E / -31.96000; 115.87972

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