Saturday, June 2, 2012


I was in Perth last week. I took the opportunity one afternoon to visit WACA. I was quite excited about the visit. I was in Perth CBD and the ground is within walking distance from there. As I approached the stadium, a flood of random memories and images relating to WACA came to mind...

Sachin's bestestestest Innings
Bounciest track on the planet
Long cracks on the pitch
Tony Grieg's lost key 
Curtly's 8-for
Gilly's marana adi to Flintoff & friends
Justin Langer
Sachin's upper cut over slips against Brett Lee 
Nammakal Anjaneyar's 381
Who on earth is Freemantle doctor?
McGrath's hatrick
Shane Warne c M Richardson b Vettori  99
A Parore, L Vincent, S Fleming make merry in '00 test.
India's test win in '08
Damien Martyn
SAffer's win in '08
...and some more

I checked WACA's website and booked in for the Ground tour and Cricket Museum.

WACA Cricket Museum

If you are a cricket lover, this cricket museum is a must-see. Of the things I saw, these stood out:

a. The Under-arm ball: They have the actual match ball bowled by Trevor Chappell. And just to rub it in, they had a Silver Fern cap and a NZ Cricket Blazer near the ball. Rascals!

b. The Bradman Room: WA seem to adore Bradman more than any other state. I've done the MCG tour, apart from the big statue outside the ground, MCG didn't have anything significant on Bradman. Here, there were several portraits, rare action shots, couple of his jerseys, his match caps, his handwritten letters, original newspaper banners, autographed bats and handwritten score-books of matches played by Don. Superb collection!

Bradman in a net session

Also one of WACA's hospitality room is named after him too. Though Don was a South Australian, WA seem to love him as their own.

c. The Indian Cricket Team: There were numerous memorabilia from each India Cricket team that had toured Australia over the years. I was pleasantly surprised to see photos, signed exhibits of the first India cricket team to visit Australia in 1946. I think the team was captained by Lala Amarnath. It was great to see such rare items preserved so well.

WACA Ground Tour

WACA is different from the test match venues I've seen in Australia. It is a relatively small ground, and unlike a MCG or SCG it does not have the "Colosseum feel" when you walk through the gates. WACA is laid back. There are two stands on each ends with a smattering of corporate boxes, on the sides are a grass-bank and a make-shift stand. The ground could really do with a renovation. WACA, in its current state, reflects the attitude of the place to a certain extent. The cricket in the middle is played the hard way, the fair chunk of general public who come in enjoy the sun & beer and aren't too fussed over overt comforts. No frills, just froth and some good cricket!

Here are some photos from the Ground tour:

Our Ground Tour guide looks at a photograph and reminisces the day when Aussies reclaimed the Ashes
Son of the soil: J L Langer

We were taken to home side's dressing room. They had this to warn players it is time to get on the field

WA Test Reps. Please whistle pottufy for M E K Hussey.

View from the WACA's visitors' dressing room
Western Australia's Team of the Century!

We were taken to 'Stump Lounge' which had a autographed stump from each Test played at WACA

We were taken onto the playing arena. It felt surreal to stand on the very place cricket legends have played.

It was the off-season, so we didn't see a proper cricket pitch. It felt good to stand in the middle of one of the historic test match venues in the world.

WACA pitch. Looked more like a pitch at Basin Reserve, Wellington, NZ.

AU$15 well spent! :-)