Lost trust in Australian cricket hurting Perth attendance: WACA Chief

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WACA Chief Executive Christina Matthews has said that Cricket Australia’s mishandling of the ball-tampering saga and their failure at course correction in the aftermath has translated into poor crowd turnouts at the newly-built Perth Stadium.
“I don’t think it’s the team, I think Australian cricket as an entity is on the nose and a little bit of trust has been lost,” Matthews told SEN radio on Sunday (December 16). “What happened in South Africa was kind of an insult to everybody and how they feel about the game. We follow that up a few months later with the cultural review and let’s say the lack of foresight on Cricket Australia’s part to see how the public was going to react to that. You live and learn. Don’t forget we’ve got a World Cup and an Ashes series coming up in the winter and a reset in that sense.”
The attendance on the opening day of the second Test in Perth was 20,746, but Matthews admitted that they were expecting a much higher number. “No doubt when we were planning for this a few years ago we would have hoped for 30-35,000 first-day crowd, but we didn’t expect the upheaval that was going to happen in cricket over the last nine months. That’s obviously had an effect on Australian cricket and we know that because we know how well the BBL is doing in cricket sales and corporate hospitality – it is smashing everything.
“It’s not happening in Australian cricket, so there’s obviously been an impact but I think as the team progresses, the result in Adelaide got people a little more sentimental about the team, and as the team improves that will come back again.”
Matthews has also been extensively involved in Cameron Bancroft’s rehabilitation back to international and Shield cricket and said that having a set plan about how to go about things made it easier for everyone around.“He’s probably had an easier road than the other two because he’s been very set and we’ve been very set in how to go about it. So he hasn’t chased other tournaments around the world. He’s worked with the squad and to be fair he’s had a contract, so he’s had obligations as well.“He was new into it I think he was widely seen as much a victim as a perpetrator in the whole thing. I think he was naive and desperate to belong and so he was caught in a position of what to do and I think that the real indictment you know that when your captain kind of knows what’s going on and doesn’t stop it and your vice-captain is involved you sort of go: where do you go?