Perth: Dismissing the outrage in the Indian media after groundstaff were captured in camera sitting and drinking on the pitch, the WACA chief executive Graeme Wood clarified it was customary for the groundsmen to have a drink on eve of a Test match to celebrate their hard work.
On the eve of the third Test between India and Australia here, Indian television showed images of around a dozen WACA staff standing, drinking and lying on the pitch as head curator Cam Sutherland did a final inspection at around 7.30 pm local time.
The footage had upset the Indian team management, who claimed it was a major breach of protocol and fretted about possible damage to the pitch, and senior BCCI functionary Rajiv Shukla also said that the Cricket Australia must look into the issue.
But Wood sought to downplay the incident, saying, "To me this is a storm in a tea cup".
"The magnificent work they do is celebrated around the cricket world and they are entitled to be proud of themselves.”
"It is just having a little bit of fun and saluting the groundstaff and in particular, Cam Sutherland. Cam was there, he was the person lying on the pitch putting the finishing touches to the wicket," said Wood.
"Sutherland was completing final preparations for the match, and was joined by fellow staff for a few minutes in a Perth pre-Test tradition," he added.
Wood also said that there was no way the track was compromised.