Cricket Australia’s ‘sunscreen’ solution to draw crowds to Perth stadium

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Cricket Australia is offering free sunscreens as a formula to attract fans for the second Test at the new Optus Stadium in Perth for the second Test of the Border Gavaskar series.

Since CA could not sell the desired number of tickets for one of the top tier stands with shades, it is offering refunds to the few fans who have bought tickets for the stand that will now remain closed during the Test.

Cricket Australia in conjunction with VenuesLive, the company which operates the taxpayer-funded $1.6 billion stadium, had elected to close level five for all days of the Australia-India Test.

The fans are given the option to take alternate seats, which will be facing sun during the game, and free sunscreen to beat the harmful effects of direct sun rays. CA has reportedly relocated about the 1,500 ticketholders elsewhere on the lower levels.

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Level five will be closed as ticket sales have been below expectations. The move will further dissuade fans as the Perth temperatures are expected to reach 34° Celsius during the Test. The 34° temperature in Perth may become more scorching than 40+ in Delhi due to the depleted ozone layer in Australia.

Exposure to direct sun rays causes a threat of screen cancer. The Cancer Council of WA has also criticised Cricket Australia for closing the stands with shades.

Cancer Council of Western Australia had slammed the decision to make tens of thousands of shaded seats for the historic first Test at Optus Stadium unavailable for sale as “inexcusable”.

The scorching Australian summer and declining crowd at Test matches has been a cause of concern for Cricket Australia. Following the poor turnaround for the first Test, which Australia lost at Adelaide on Monday, the host organisation has reiterated the call for India to play day-night Test matches on their next tour Down Under. The day-night games also help the fans beat the direct heat from the sun.

This will be the first time a Test will be played at the new Perth Stadium, named Optus Stadium with the sponsors name as the pre-fix.

‘The Home of Cricket’ in Western Australia since 1890s, the WACA Ground was the Test venue in Perth between 1970 and the Ashes Test last December. Incidentally the first game at the WACA in December 1970, too, was an Ashes Test.

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