WACA curator defends drinking binge of his ground staff

WACA curator defends drinking binge of his ground staff

 WACA curator Cameron Sutherland defended the actions of his ground staff, who were filmed drinking and lying on the pitch here Thursday ahead of the third Test between India and Australia.

Sutherland described the incident as unfortunate and said that his ground staff have been made to look like unprofessionals in the video shot by an Indian TV. A dozen ground staff were seen enjoying their drink on the WACA track on the eve of the match.
"I was the one that removed covers. I was out doing the work initially and a couple of my staff came out and joined me. We were the ones that were lying on the pitch and that seems to be the issue. Well, yeah, we were working on it," Sutherland told ABC Radio.
"We had a bit of an issue when the Adelaide Strikers warmed up on it (before the) Twenty20 game on Sunday, which they weren't supposed to. So we were just looking at the aesthetics of it."

"It's too hard to do it on the morning of the game or the day before when they are doing all their markings," Sutherland said.

The footage upset members of the Indian team management. But Sutherland said that the ground staff were present at the pitch till late Thursday night to make sure that the track was fine. 

"There were just a few little blemishes we could tie off on that night and it will give time for everything to settle. Then the next morning we can just go and give it a cut and a roll, which we have to do, and there's no issue with us sitting around the wicket on match day doing all our poking and prodding," the curator said.

"We thought there would be no one there and hard-working staff work behind the scenes in the offices who are obviously females and don't get out to the wicket, probably don't understand the Test wicket but they love the night before to go out and say, geez, well done boys and this looks great or whatever."

"They came out and they took off their shoes and they showed a pretty good respect. Someone walked across it which we saw, which is a bit unfortunate. Ten minutes later they were gone but we were still out there an hour later doing our thing. That's the thing the footage doesn't show - working on the Test wicket," he said.

Sutherland said his team might be made to look like unprofessional but in reality the ground staff at the WACA were trying to get the best possible track for the two teams.
"Up until the toss of the coin, we can do anything we want to the wicket. I shouldn't say it but we could be out there this morning if we wanted to. That's our prerogative, to get a surface which we think will (produce) good Test cricket," he said.

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