'They're arguing': The 'bitter' Aussie cricket feud set to explode

Sam Goodwin
Sports Editor

Brisbane and Perth are reportedly in a ‘bitter’ battle to host one of four Tests against India during the 2020/21 home summer.

India are set to return to Australia next summer and have agreed to play a day-night Test, which will almost certainly be held at Adelaide Oval.

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With the SCG and MCG locks to host two of the other Tests, one of the Gabba and Optus Stadium will miss out.

According to leading cricket writer Peter Lalor, a “bitter” feud has ignited between the two cities.

“There’s great competition between Brisbane and Perth as to who gets an India Test,” Lalor told SEN Radio on Wednesday.

Australia hosted Pakistan at the Gabba in the first Test in November. (Photo by Chris Hyde - CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

“This is going to get bitter, particularly if Perth misses out.

“Perth are arguing they have a brand spanking new $1.4 billion stadium, whereas the Gabba is the least of the stadiums on the mainland and needs a lot of money injected into it.

“They’ll have the state government on their side and all that business. I know they’ve put in a proposal to Cricket Australia about why they should have the Test.

“I know that Cricket Australia wrote to CEOs on Monday or Tuesday saying no decision has been made, but I reckon it will probably play out the way we think which is that they’ll play in Brisbane.”

Australia will likely play a one-off Test against lowly-ranked Afghanistan, but it would be at the WACA rather than Optus Stadium if held in Perth.

India’s backflip on playing day-nighter

Virat Kohli's men bypassed Brisbane - where Australia haven't lost a Test since 1988 - during their previous visit.

India also opted against playing a pink-ball match in 2018-19 while recording their first Test series win in Australia.

Cricket Australia has recently been negotiating with the Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) regarding next summer's itinerary, when the teams ranked first and second on the world Test championship table clash in a four-Test series.

"A formal announcement will come soon but we have decided to play a day-night test in Australia," BCCI president Sourav Ganguly told Monday's edition of the Times of India newspaper.

"We will also play one against England at home next February. Day-night Tests will be a regular feature from now on."

A general view of Optus Stadium during Australia's clash with New Zealand in 2019. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Australia, desperate to atone for their Border-Gavaskar series loss in which suspended superstars Steve Smith and David Warner were sorely missed, are undefeated in seven pink-ball Tests.

Kohli made it clear last month his team were "ready and up for the challenge" of day-night Test cricket in Australia.

"We played the day-night Test here (in 2019 at Eden Gardens), we were very happy with how it went," Kohli said.

"It's become a very exciting feature of any series, so we are absolutely open to play a day-night Test."

Kohli added "it doesn't matter to us", when dismissing the notion India were reluctant to play at the Gabba.

Tim Paine's team have made no secret of the fact they would prefer to start every series at the Gabba, where countless touring teams have failed to adjust to its pace and bounce.

"We'll certainly try but we'll have to run that by Virat," Paine quipped earlier this summer, when asked about the prospect of playing the first Test in Brisbane.

"See if we can get his permission.

"I'm sure we'll get an answer from him at some stage."

with AAP