It's not quite happening at the WACA: Cricket's love affair with the fastest pitch is almost over

“It’s not you, it’s me”

Just like a B grade romantic comedy, the WACA and major international cricket officially broke up yesterday, despite one of the lead characters not really accepting the outcome.

International cricket had wanted the relationship to work. They have been dating for around 45 years. That’s generally accepted as a long time.

 Its not quite happening at the WACA: Crickets love affair with the fastest pitch is almost over

File picture of the WACA stadium. Getty

International cricket was emotionally invested into the WACA.

But for her part, the WACA had let herself go over the years. Not that this is usually a reason to break up with someone.

People age. They start to sag. Wrinkles begin to show.

But physical appearances shouldn’t count.

They say it’s the emotional bond that keeps love strong.

Unfortunately, the natural laws of attraction in international cricket don’t work that way.

The WACA had lost her sheen. She was uncomfortable to look at and was a bore at the dinner table. She hadn’t bought any new clothes for decades.

In fact, the last time an effort was made was 1986, when she dolled herself up for the installation of shiny new light towers.

Her children visited in smaller numbers as the years passed. Not that they didn’t want to come and see her, but she made the experience rather uncomfortable.

Her amenities are sparse and a throw back to the 80’s. She offers little shade from the brutal Western Australian heat. Her airconditioning barely works.

It is now folklore that during the last Ashes Test held at her place, journalists in the press box had to place their laptops in the drinks fridge to keep them cool.

She is no longer a fun person to be with.

But most importantly, international cricket was having a series of not so secret rendezvous with a newer, sexier stadium that is planning to move to Perth sometime around 2018/19.

They probably met on Tinder.

Her name is Burswood.

They say she will wear the latest fashions, has the greenest grass, the most comfortable seats and can cater for multiple sports.

60k people will be able to enjoy her at the same time.

A “ménage à sixty thousand” if you wish.

This is all very exciting.

International cricket has conceded that the children from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, New Zealand and Bangladesh can still visit. But only if they want to and only if they have time.

But those children from India, England and South Africa will no longer pop in. They have already adopted Burswood as their new step mother.

The Big Bash has also abandoned the WACA. Cricket’s bottomless money pit has been seduced by the fullness of Burswood’s bosom.

To be fair, the WACA should have seen this coming. Last year, when her cousins from India were in Australia, they chose not to visit. People always make the effort to visit.

The Sheffield Shield has chosen to stay. So too has the domestic limited overs competition.

Although important, the objective mind can only conclude that these truly are the runts of the litter.

The WACA still has time to create some memories, as international cricket does not plan to leave her with immediate effect.

Her bounce and carry will continue to present precious opportunities to pleasure the quick bowler.

Mitchell Johnson still looks forward to one last visit. It is rumoured that so too does Dale Steyn and Trent Boult. Stuart Broad may run out of time.

The West Indian bowlers of the 80’s and 90’s will never forget her kindness and hospitality. Neither will some batsmen.

Matthew Hayden plundered 380 there once.

Shahid Afridi loved her taste so much, he chose to bite into the ball in 2010.

The Fremantle Doctor has visited the WACA and international cricket for an annual check-up without fail since they first started dating. He suggests that despite the couple’s split, the WACA is in good mental health.

For not only has she lost her soul mate, but Dennis Lillee has also abandoned her as a Director.

While probably a decent man, his inability to hang tough and guide the couple through this separation will probably be better for the WACA in the long run.

For she needs those around her who will embrace the changing world and not fight it. She needs those who can convince her she still holds value. That she has an important place in the cricket world.

The WACA may no longer be the blazing vixen of Western Australia.

But the memories she has created, the legacy she leaves and her future role are all well and truly secure.

Updated Date: Sep 04, 2015 12:40:54 IST

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