WACA character the key: Porter

Pearce MHR Christian Porter has been appointed to the WACA board. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d414579
Pearce MHR Christian Porter has been appointed to the WACA board. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d414579

Growing up in the 1970s, Mr Porter recalls watching WACA president Dennis Lillee running in to bowl at the fast-bowling paceman’s paradise.

Now, with the ground facing a rocky future since the mothballing of a multi-million dollar redevelopment that included a major apartment project, Mr Porter will be working with Mr Lillee to safeguard international cricket at the WACA.

Mr Porter set foot on the WACA turf before his first board member briefing, his first time on the ground since running on to field after Test matches some 35 years ago.

‘I think that if you grew up as a kid in WA in the ’70s, then the WACA is a big part of your life,’ Mr Porter said.

‘It’s a really special place and it’s an internationally significant place. It’s one of those things in Perth that everyone overseas knows about.’

Having seen the dynamic brand of cricket the WACA attracts, including Merv Hughes’ spread across three overs and two innings Mr Porter says the ground is too steeped in history to be abandoned.

‘The problem is a very substantial one, because we’re about to have a very large, very expensive stadium across the ditch and there will be a natural tendency I think for some people to say ‘that stadium’s enough’,’ he said.

‘I don’t think the WACA needs to be a 50,000 or 60,000 seat capacity to secure Test cricket, it just needs to improve its facilities.’

In an era of cricket commercialisation and shifting formats, Mr Porter said the WACA’s recognisable character was just as important as the ground itself.

‘It’s a place where the batsmen can absolutely score runs’