Ashes 2010: England could face cracker of a pitch at the WACA again

Friday, November 19, 2010

PERTH - There are signs that the WACA may be on the verge of regaining the pace that made it the most ferocious Test surface in the world after an earthquake-like crack running down the length of the pitch almost caused the abandonment of a second XI match between Western Australia and New South Wales.

The fault line, three to four centimetres at its widest, might not have been quite as vast as some of the cracks that unnerved batsmen a generation ago.

Former England captain, David Gower was famously once photographed with his bat wedged so deep into a crack in a Test pitch that it stood up on its own, but it caused New South Wales to press for the match to be abandoned.

Their pleas went unheard with the umpire Nathan Johnston ruling that the final day would go ahead as long as there were “no silly buggers” from the pitch. New South Wales, six wickets down overnight and facing a heavy defeat, made 244 and lost by 234 runs.

The third Ashes Test, scheduled from 16 to 20 December, is due to take place two strips along from this surface, but Western Australia’s chief executive, Graeme Wood, a former Australia Test opener, dismissed any suggestions that the match might be in jeopardy.

Instead, he brazenly praised signs that the WACA, dormant for too long, could be about to explode again.There are pretty good signs there. There was no danger for the batsmen and if there are cracks in the pitch, that confirms that the block is starting to get harder. We’ve been seeking greater pace and bounce for some years now,” Wood said.

No immediate comment was available from either side at how a super-fast Perth surface might influence the result of the Ashes. (ANI)

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