Gabba signs new deal, hosts day-night Test


The Gabba will host international cricket for the next three years under a partnership announced between Cricket Australia, the Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council.

As part of the future fixtures schedule agreement, Cricket Australia confirmed Brisbane would host Pakistan this season, an Ashes Test against England next season, a Test in 2018 as well as an ODI or T20 International each season for the next three years.

The Gabba will host the First Test of the Commonwealth Bank Series against Pakistan in December, the first day-night Test to be staged at the venue.

CA Executive General Manager – Team Performance Pat Howard said the Gabba provided the Australian team with a venue that challenged opposition teams.

Howard said: "Australia’s record at the Gabba has been exceptional and the fact we remain undefeated at the Gabba since 1988 underlines that record. As a consequence the Australian players always look forward to a Gabba Test.

"The first Gabba day-night Test will be a wonderful occasion. It’s a great opportunity for the Queensland fans to come in school holidays and it is an ideal way to celebrate the partnership with very accessible ticket pricing.

"We are all excited to see what it will be like to play in front of what is expected to be a massive Gabba crowd.

"I congratulate Tourism and Events Queensland, Stadiums Queensland and Brisbane Marketing for working together with Australian Cricket to deliver such a great outcome not just for cricket fans, but for the Brisbane and Queensland economy."

The 2016-17 summer of international cricket features the Test series against South Africa and Pakistan, One Day International matches with New Zealand and Pakistan and T20 Internationals against Sri Lanka to be held.

Treasurer and Minister for Sport, Curtis Pitt MP welcomed the announcement and urged fans to embrace the day-night Test.

"With the Australian cricket team’s enviable Fortress Gabba record and a recent $1 million lighting upgrade, I’m calling on Queenslanders to embrace the new timeslot and get along to enjoy a balmy night of Test cricket at the Gabba," he said.

"The Gabba has without doubt one of the best pitches in the country and I’m sure Kevin Mitchell Jnr and his team will present an immaculate field.

"The attendance for day-night fixtures across both One Day Internationals and the Brisbane Heat’s Big Bash League games has been strong at the Gabba and I’m looking forward to a big turnout for the pink-ball Test," he said.

Pitt said with the Test being in the lead up to Christmas Holidays it would attract even more people to Brisbane.

He added: "From a tourism perspective, the new timeslot is at the start of school holidays, a lot of Queenslanders are winding down for the Christmas break and the evening play will be more comfortable and accessible for fans.

"There is normally a large influx of tourists at this time of the year, and the first day-night Test at the Gabba will be another great reason to visit Brisbane."

Interim Queensland Cricket CEO Michael Kasprowicz said the three-year agreement provided greater surety for fans and supporters across the State.

The former paceman said: "Queensland Cricket is excited about the prospects of the day-night Test, and believe that the Gabba pitch, outfield and lighting will complement the pink ball and make for a competitive and entertaining spectacle.

"Likewise, the return of England for an Ashes series next year is always eagerly anticipated. Australia’s First Test record at the Gabba is second to none and England always seems to struggle when they start a series here.

"Now that there is an agreement in place, we look forward to discussing future scheduling opportunities which will continue to assist Australian cricket."