Gabba los­ing out to Ade­laide

Sunday Territorian - - SPORT - RICHARD EARLE

BRIS­BANE will pay the price for an age­ing Gabba fa­cil­ity af­ter a crack South Aus­tralia Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion pre­sen­ta­tion se­cured Ade­laide Oval the fi­nal, prized Test against In­dia of a packed 2018-19 sum­mer.

Aus­tralia will host In­dia in a four-match Test se­ries start­ing in Novem­ber-De­cem­ber next year with Syd­ney and Mel­bourne cer­tain to stage tra­di­tional hol­i­day slots.

Perth – de­nied a Test match when In­dia toured four years ago – will host Vi­rat Kohli’s side at the city’s glit­ter­ing new $1 bil­lion, 65,000 ca­pac­ity Bur­swood sta­dium. Sri Lanka will play two Tests in Jan­uary 2019, al­most cer­tainly in Bris­bane and Canberra.

Cricket Aus­tralia and the Board of Cricket Con­trol In­dia (BCCI) will next month fi­nalise the 2018-19 tour sched­ule.

CA chief ex­ec­u­tive James Suther­land con­cedes the Gabba has slipped down the peck­ing or­der and is now Aus­tralia’s fifth-ranked venue, with the sta­dium’s pub­lic ameni­ties and out­dated trans­port links of great­est con­cern.

And it can be re­vealed SACA and Queens­land Cricket made pre­sen­ta­tions to Cricket Aus­tralia re­gard­ing host­ing rights for an In­dia Test dur­ing the lead-up to last week’s Ashes se­ries opener at the Gabba where the Bris­bane venue’s short­com­ings were laid bare.

Ade­laide’s reg­u­lar sell­outs, in­clud­ing a record 53,000 cricket crowd on day one of the in­au­gu­ral Ashes Test un­der lights yes­ter­day, and a $550 mil­lion re­de­vel­op­ment has the venue ahead of the Gabba in the peck­ing or­der to host In­dia.

It leaves Bris­bane fans fac­ing the prospect of shar­ing a Sri Lanka Test se­ries with Canberra, while Ho­bart will miss out on a Test next sum­mer.

If Ade­laide hosts it will be the first time su­per­power In­dia will play a Test un­der lights.

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