'Absolute disgrace': Former Aussie opener blasts Gabba Test

Riley Morgan
Sports Reporter

Former Australian Test opener Ed Cowan has called out the appalling crowd from the first Test at the Gabba and claims Brisbane doesn’t become an automatic selection for next year.

Australia racked up an innings win over Pakistan on Sunday afternoon to extend their undefeated run at the Brisbane stronghold to 31 matches in as many years.

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India will play four Tests in Australia next summer and are a strong chance of opening their summer with a pink ball Test at the Gabba.

But just 4,825 spectators were at the Gabba on Day 5 of the Test.

Steve Smith walks off the ground in front of a small crowd, which drew criticism. (Getty Images)

This was exacerbated with the figure across the five days reaching just 45,991.

Despite Australia’s incredible record at the Gabba, winning its last 31 matches - in as many years - Cowan told ABC Grandstand the numbers were a “disgrace”.

“There was no one there,” Cowan said.

“It was Sunday, last day of the Test match and there were 4000 people there. It’s an absolute disgrace.

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“You can kick and scream and say, ‘Oh the wicket is the best in the country’ and, ‘They deserve to have the first Test of the summer’. If people don’t go and watch, it will not continually have the first Test of the summer. That is the cold hard facts.”

He went on to claim Brisbane should be considered for a day-night match considering the hot climate and design of the stadium.

Paine backs Gabba Test

India will play four Tests in Australia next summer and are a strong chance of opening their summer with a pink ball Test at the Gabba.

Paine was quick to respond when asked if he'd like to play world No.1 Test side India in Brisbane given they successfully avoided a clash at the imposing venue last year in a four-Test series they won 2-1.

"Well we'll certainly try (to play it in Brisbane), but we'll have to run that by Virat," he said.

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

"See if we can get his permission to play here, maybe even get a pink ball Test if he's in a good mood."

The Indian captain just might be after notching a century in India's maiden day-night Test at Eden Gardens this week against Bangladesh.

They are on the cusp of victory early on day three.

A reluctant participant in the concept in the past, new BCCI president Sourav Ganguly has shown India's hand - at least on home soil - by green lighting this week's well-attended fixture in Kolkata.

A Gabba clash between the two powerhouses, especially under lights, is a mouth-watering proposition that would pit Australia's elite pace bowling cartel against Kohli and Indian quick Jasprit Bumrah against Steve Smith.

The Gabba faces stiff opposition for an India Test given the improvements of the Adelaide Oval, Perth's new Optus Stadium and the traditional Tests in Sydney and Melbourne. There will be a one-off Test against Afghanistan.

But Paine is staunchly in Brisbane's corner given Australia's incredible record at the venue.

"Australian teams have bowled and batted well here for a long time," he said.

"Having said that, it doesn't win us games of cricket. The reason we win games of cricket at the Gabba is because we outplay our opposition."

With AAP