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Cricket Australia CEO defends small Gabba crowds


Cricket Australia CEO Kevin Roberts has defended cricket crowds at the Gabba following a poor turnout on day 1 of the first Test against Pakistan.

Just 13,561 people attended Queensland's home of cricket to watch the first ball of the Test summer bowled, following on from the 11,986 who witnessed Australia's victory over Sri Lanka in the T20 international in October.

Speaking on SEN Cricket, Roberts said the overall crowd numbers for the summer of cricket have grown significantly in the past 20 years.

“We’ve maintained Test cricket crowds over the past 20 years but what’s changed is we used to get somewhere around 900,000 people to the cricket, now we’re well over 2 million with the BBL and WBBL," he said.

Roberts also alluded to an increase in the number of day-night Test matches in the future.

“Thursday is challenging let’s be real about that, it’s a school day and in business hours," he said.

“We know we attract more to day-night Tests and on weekends. There’s no question that day-night Test cricket needs to play a stronger role in the Test landscape going forward.”

Planning is already underway for next year's cricket season, where Aghanistan will play a historic first Test on Australian soil before India tour down under.

Roberts said Cricket Australia will take learnings onboard from the summer ahead before making any big decisions.

“We’re really keen on making sure we can learn from each season before we approach the next one," he said.

“We’ll work through this in the next few months. We expect to announce next season’s schedule in April as we usually do.

“It’s looking like Afghanistan will be first, before the Indian series and pretty soon after the men’s T20 World Cup finishes."

Roberts also provided an update on the search to replace Greg Chappell, with a new selector likely to be installed before the Adelaide Test.

“We’ve had a lot of applicants and not just the humorous applications that came from the internet," he said.

“I’d like to think we’re less than a week away, we’re at the pointy end of the process.”

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