The final day of the Perth test gave us different pictures and extremes of the sport. While Steve Smith shedding tears gave us a glimpse of the emotional side of it, Perth pitch curator taken down by the gushing wind proved to be the uglier side of it.
Matt Page, the curator of the ground, and he had to be hospitalized immediately after with concussion, Cricket Australia confirmed on Tuesday. Rain first and then a wet patch on the pitch, which had to be fixed with leaf-blowers, had delayed the start of play on Monday by three hours but still left Australia with enough time to bowl England out in their second innings and record an innings win that gave them the Ashes.
Christina Matthews, the chief executive of the Western Australia Cricket Association (WACA), said on ABC Radio later, “He (Page) is home now, but he suffered concussion. So that gives you an indication of how ferocious the winds were. He’s okay. He was in hospital for a few hours yesterday afternoon. It was a bit of a shock for us all.”
The WACA ground staff has been criticised for allowing water to seep on to the pitch and leaving at least one major wet patch on it.
But Matthews defended the team, saying, “There was actually no seeping. The problem occurred on Sunday (fourth day) afternoon with the torrential rain and winds that we had. Some of the water from the covers spilt onto the hessian, which created a wet patch on the hessian.
“Overnight, it sweated quite a bit and the sweat had nowhere to go, because the hessian was already wet. So that created the wet patches on the wicket.”