Tuesday, May 26, 2015


I hope you enjoyed a tour around Queen's Gardens and now we take a look at the WACA.


The WACA Ground is a sports stadium in Perth.  The name derives from the initials of its owners and operators, the West Australian Cricket Association.

The WACA has been Western Australia's "home of cricket" since the early 1890s, with Test Cricket played at the ground since the 1970-71 season,  The ground is the home venue of Western Australia's first-class cricket team, the Western Warriors, and a Women's National Cricket League side, the Western FuryThe Perth Scorchers, a Big Bash League franchise, also plays at the ground, which is branded #The Furnace for those matches.

The pitch at the WACA is regarded as one of the quickest and bounciest in the world.  These characteristics, in combination with the afternoon sea-breezes which regularly blows across the ground (the Fremantle Doctor), have historically made the ground an attractive place for pace and swing bowlers.  The outfield is particularly fast, contributing to the ground seeing some very fast scoring - as of December, 2014, four of the eight fastest Test centuries have been scored at the WACA.

Throughout its history, the ground has also been used for a range of other sport including athletics carnivals, Australian Rules football, baseball, soccer, rugby league, rugby union, and International Rules football.  However, recent years have seen most of these activities relocated to other venues.  It has also been used for major rock concerts.

Early History
William Henry Wise, a gardener who came to WA from England in 1880, laid the first turf wicket at the WACA.  Wise was personal gardener to Sir George Shenton, of Crawley.  In addition to his work at the WACA Ground, Wise laid the first tennis court on the Perth Esplanade.

The Western Australian Cricket Association was officially established on 25 November, 1885, under the presidency of J.C.H. James.  In 1893, the WACA ground was officially opened, occupying a site of old swamp land to the east of the city.  The Association has a 999-year lease over the land (which expires in 2888).  The long term of the lease means that, effectively, the Association has freehold title (save that it cannot divest itself of any part of the land without the State Government's consent).  Originally, the title covered 28 acres (117,000 sq. metres), and took in what is now Gloucester Park.  However, the latter part of the land was divested to the Trotting Association in the early 1920s.  In a curious twist, between 1977 and 1979) the then-rebel World Series Cricket matches were played at Gloucester Park because the Kerry Packer-led organisation was not granted access to the WACA.

The first match played on the turf wickets gook place in February, 1894.  However difficulties encountered in transporting teams to Western Australia meant that the ground was not part of Australia's main cricket community for many years.  Even with the building of the transcontinental railway, the trip from the eastern states still took several days.  It took the introduction of scheduled flights to Western Australia to make the WACA readily accessible to interstate or overseas teams.

James Gardiner, President of the WACA for the three terms between 1897 and 1924, proposed the adoption of 'electorate' cricket (as it was first known) whereby teams were established on a district basis for competition.  He also inaugurated Country Week cricket, during which country teams compete against each other  In 1907, the WACA ground was under threat of being controlled by the Perth City Council to recover debts  Gardiner led the bid to save the ground and secured a government loan.  Further financial difficulties led Gardiner to again raise funds and donations with a cricket match by the Australian XI team in 1912.

The WACA scoreboard in 2015:

From 1984 to 1988 the WACA underwent major renovations, including a realignment and a complete resurfacing of the ground and the constructions of new terracing and seating in the outer.  Also built were the three tiered Prindiville grandstand and two tiered Lillee-Marsh grandstand, which increased the ground's seating capacity.  Six large light towers were also installed in 1988 at a cost of $4.2 million, allowing for night time sports such as day-night cricket matches to be played at the ground.  a icon of the WACA, the floodlights are 70 metres high and cost $600 per hour to run.  In 2013, a new video screen was installed near the old scoreboard, replacing one of the old temporary screens.

The WACA museum (located on-site) features exhibits about Western Australian cricket.

Once again, my thanks to Wikipedia for the above information, some photos plus a few freebies.


  1. While I am not a cricket (or any sport really) fan it was really good to learn something about the background to the WACA. It has been in use as a cricket oval for a lot longer than I realised.

    1. I enjoy some cricket and usually follow what is happening even if I don't view it.
      The WACA has certainly been there a long time but of course was only used for local games for many years.
      So many different sports have been played there over the years but now mainly just cricket.

  2. Hari OM
    ...okay, I gotta own up - I actually grinned and giggled when I saw your title!!! I am such a cricket tragic... and now I am a cricket tragic with no access to free presentation of cricket here in the old country!!! aaaaarrggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh..... There is radio and I will be tuning in for the Ashes series soon. England just scraped back in their first test against NZ, which ended today.

    None of which you wanted to know.

    Thank you for this Mimsie - I did not know about the lease of land - somehow one always thinks of these places as being owned outright.

    Okay, excitement over. Long past my bedtime! YAM xx

    1. I enjoy one day and 20-20 cricket but than the 3 or 5 day matches but always follow the results.
      I saw where England scraped home and thought that a good result. We in Oz of course always like to see the Kiwis get beaten. Of course I wanted to know. I am always interested in what you have to say.
      Hope you had a good night's rest. xxx

  3. I'll say the ground is pretty to look at, but that's as far as my interest goes.
    I don't understand or like cricket, or any other sport, but many people do and this post will be greatly interesting to them.
    I like the sea breeze being called The Fremantle Doctor; it's true that such a breeze off the ocean can blow away many things, germs, a case of the blues etc.

    1. I didn't do this post about the WACA 'cos I am a sports lover but as an interesting place around Perth.
      I do enjoy some cricket and of course AFL. I sometimes watch tennis but not very often and I find cycle racing boring except for the scenery.
      Our Fremantle Doctor is always very popular during our hot summers and down south they of course have the Albany Doctor.

  4. Ah cricket! It's the only sport I've ever followed even though I don't understand all the rules. My late husband took me to the WACA in the early 80s when the likes of Dennis Lillee, Jeff Thomson and Rod Marsh were playing. It was the most boring and uncomfortable cricket match I had ever watched! It taught me that armchair cricket was more preferable to me because I could have has many tea breaks as I wanted. So that was the one and only time I went to the WACA. It was very interesting to read a little bit of the WACAs history. Thank you.

    PS: My Cockburn Carer had last Friday off so Jenny came instead. It was lovely to see her and catch up on her news. She said she loved going to your place and always looked forward to seeing you. I agree with you, she is a wonderful young women with such an optimistic outlook.

    1. I have never been to a cricket match and my preference is for armchair viewing, at least of one-day and 20-20 matches. I do understand most of the rules but never remember the field placings
      Glad you had the chance to meet up with Jenny again. She has been coming to us for about 3 years at least and is always bright and cheerful. Her two children are really great too. Very polite and well behaved. Am yet to visit her new home but hope to do so in the not too distant future. Have given her bits and pieces for her new garden. She is such a hard worker.