Sport Cricket The Ashes: The major myth about the WACA and England’s ‘pathetic’ move

The Ashes: The major myth about the WACA and England’s ‘pathetic’ move

England coach Trevor Bayliss inspects the WACA wicket. Photo: Getty
Twitter Facebook Reddit Pinterest Email

We’re only hours from the third Test beginning and I can’t wait.

The vibe in Perth this week has been great and as parochial people, we’re delighted to have possibly three locals in the team, with Shaun Marsh and Cameron Bancroft potentially joined by Mitchell Marsh for a Test which, if we win, will deliver back the Ashes.

It is the last Ashes Test at the WACA and while I have plenty of great memories of the ground, it is antiquated these days.

By the old scoreboard there’s an open stand with no shade and it can get that hot you could cook an egg out there. And it’s 100m away from the pitch!

People are getting carried away with talk about a fast WACA pitch this week.

The wicket has changed a lot and is nowhere near what it used to be.

It’s a bit of a shame and that Test against New Zealand a couple of years ago, where both sides made over 550 and played out a boring draw, was terrible. It was really poor.

The WACA is now a fantastic place to bat and I just hope for a pitch where edges carry through to the slips and where the bounce is true.

I always enjoyed batting at the WACA and got a hundred there against New South Wales on my state debut, which is a fond memory of mine.

I remember in my second or third game, against Queensland, I faced Jeff Thomson there.

This was before he got injured – and after that he was clocked at around 160 kilometres an hour.

But prior to that injury, I reckon Thommo bowled at about 170 kilometres per hour. He was lightning quick.

I went out to bat in this game and the wicketkeeper was nearly at the sight screen!

One of my proudest memories in cricket came in the 1981 Test against Pakistan at the WACA.

I got a hundred in the second innings and it was great to do it for my country on my home deck.

As for WACA memories when I wasn’t playing, I’ll never forget watching Adam Gilchrist smash his 57-ball hundred against England.

Adam Gilchrist
Adam Gilchrist’s century in Perth is the third-fastest in Test history. Photo: Getty

I was also there for the first ever Test at the WACA, sitting on the hill watching Greg Chappell made a ton on debut. That was an incredible knock.

There’s been a heap of talk about England’s off-field behaviour going into this Test and I must say the tourists have acted in a pathetic manner.

These guys are getting paid millions and if you need a curfew and they can’t make good decisions … I feel sorry for the captain Joe Root.

I just can’t believe that these guys would behave so poorly.

It’s embarrassing for cricket to constantly see these headlines of alcohol-related problems and these England players are embarrassing their country.

It beggars belief that they would return to the same Perth bar where they had an issue a few weeks ago.

I’m also amazed that James Vince and Dawid Malan – who both could do with some runs – were left out of England’s recent tour game in Western Australia.

One piece of local knowledge I can share is that our bowlers will be watching the breeze at the WACA closely.

When there’s a strong sea breeze, you don’t get any swing, but in December particularly, a nice easterly can come in.

And that’s a beautiful time to swing the ball.

If you asked me what chance I’d give England in this Test, I’d say absolutely zero.

Australia will win, and will do it inside four days.

Former Australia captain Kim Hughes played 70 Test matches and 97 one-day internationals for his country.

View Comments