There’s been mass fury before, during and after Australia’s abbreviated Test clash with the West Indies at Adelaide Oval.
With the Test lasting just over two days, South Australians who were hoping to catch a bit of the action on the weekend will sadly miss that opportunity.
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Of course, fans in the sports mad state were already unhappy with the Test in Adelaide changed this year from a day-night clash with a pink ball to a traditional red-ball match.
South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas was clearly unhappy with Cricket Australia’s decision.
The state has become synonymous with pink ball matches since it held the first day-night Test in 2015.
Andrew McDonald, Travis Head and Pat Cummins inspect the pitch before start of play during the first Test between Australia and the West Indies at Adelaide Oval. Credit: Getty Images
“The Adelaide Test gets bigger crowds than the SCG Test and here’s Cricket Australia saying, ‘Well look to all those South Australians out there who have treated the game loyally, show up, pay their money — we’re going to relegate your schedule to midweek cricket against a lower opposition because we’re going to take you for granted’,” Malinauskas vented on ABC Radio on Friday.
“I think someone’s got to call that out.”
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Cricket fans were already unhappy with the fact that Australia were again facing the West Indies, who have gone from a one-time powerhouse to serious lightweights over the decades.
And once again they proved no match for the mighty Australians who are riding high and are currently the No.1 Test team in the world according to the latest ICC rankings.
Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley explained the decision to host the clash during the day.
“This season, the scheduling has been really super complicated and that’s because of the World Cup, everything is pushed a little bit later,” Hockley told SEN.
“We’ve had to play Test matches throughout the duration of the Big Bash. The reason this (Test) is a day game is so we can play the Big Bash finals in the evening.
“The first day of the fifth Test at the Gabba is the day after the Big Bash finals, so the beauty is cricket is on 12 hours a day and there’s been great cricket on every evening.
“That’s what we’ve sat down on, worked with our broadcast partners, and I think the interplay between the Test matches and BBL has been great.”
Whether day or night, it would be hard to see the West Indies challenging Australia, certainly on the grassy wicket that was provided.
Such was was the condition of the wicket, Australian captain Pat Cummins shunned Adelaide history with a rare decision to bowl after winning the toss.
He became just the 10th skipper to choose to bowl first in the 82 Tests played at the famous South Australian venue.
Adelaide Oval curator Damian Hough put his hand up and admitted the wicket was disappointing.
“The biggest difference with this one is the grass variety,” Hough said on Fox.
“I put my hand up and say we probably haven’t quite got it perfect.
“We’re trying to find a contest between bat and ball. We want the players to shine. We want all facets to come out. I put my hand up and say we haven’t got this one quite right.
“I don’t think it’s the worst pitch ever to be played on but it’s just that inconsistency.
“I don’t like inconsistency early on, especially on Days 1 and 2. We’ll keep tinkering with it and guarantee it’ll be better next year.”