Cricket news: A $1 billion rebuild of the Gabba in Brisbane should ensure the venue remains a must on the Test calendar

A $1 billion transformation of the Gabba could ensure the iconic Brisbane ground re-establishes itself in the pecking order of Australian Test venues and again becomes a fortress for the national team.

Both Cricket Australia and Queensland Cricket welcomed news the ground would be rebuilt as part of Brisbane’s bid to host the 2032 Olympic Games.

Queensland officials have had to fight in recent years to hold on to the ground’s status as a premium Test venue, despite the fact Australian players always want to open any series at the “Gabbatoir”.

In two of the past three summers, the Gabba was moved from its traditional spot as the venue for the first Test against touring opponents.

Last summer, against India, it was the fourth and final Test and Australia lost in Brisbane for the first time since 1986.

In 2019, Australia played Sri Lanka in a day-night Test at the Gabba across the Australia Day weekend in the last match of a six-Test summer.

After confirmation of the redevelopment, Nick Hockley, Cricket Australia’s interim CEO, said it would ensure the Gabba remained a “world class cricketing venue” for many generations to come.

“The Gabba is one of the most important, iconic and historic cricket grounds in Australia and we are delighted that the Queensland Government has agreed to a major redevelopment should Brisbane win the right to host the 2032 Olympic Games,” Hockley said.

“Just as the 2000 Olympics bestowed upon cricket the dual legacies of Stadium Australia and the Sydney Showground – both of which became international cricket venues – so, too, would the 2032 Brisbane Games equip the Gabba with state-of-the-art facilities to rival any stadium in the world.

“Australian Cricket is fortunate to have had many of its major venues undergo upgrades in recent years and it would be wonderful to see the Gabba joining that list.”

Terry Svenson, Queensland Cricket’s CEO, said the redevelopment was a once-in-a-generation opportunity.

“QC sees the great benefits of a redeveloped Gabba and the knowledge that cricket’s heritage and particular requirements will be considered in this process as a legacy from the Games is exceptional,” he said.

Details around the impact the rebuild could have on cricket’s access to the venue during construction are yet to be confirmed.

“We’ll be working with all of the teams in relation to that,” Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

The rebuild is dependent on a financial commitment from the federal government, and Brisbane securing hosting rights for the Olympic Games.

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