'MR CRICKET' TALKS PERTH
Mike Hussey was born and raised in Perth, and thrived at the WACA in Ashes Tests, scoring 74 and 103 in 2006/07, and 61 and 116 in 2010/11 – both of which led to crushing Australian victories over England. “It is a positive, attacking venue,” he says. “Spectators know they are going to see teams going for it because of the conditions, not the sort of turgid cricket we sometimes get in Tests. It’s also a good ‘seeing’ ground – the light is pure and clean.”
Hussey made 74 and 103 at Perth in the 2006/07 series; Michael Clarke made a pair of centuries too and Adam Gilchrist destroyed Monty Panesar in the second innings (although the bowler took eight wickets in the match) – Australia won by 206 runs.
“It was brilliant to score a century on my home ground in front of my family and friends – and that was the match we secured the Ashes. It was a special innings for me for that reason – I was very emotional. Who can forget Gilly hitting so far and straight?”
Four years later Hussey hit 61 and 116 – Mitchell Johnson took nine wickets in the match. It was to be Australia’s only win of that series (they lost 3-1).
“It was an exciting Test. Mitchell bowled us to victory and it got us back in the series at 1-1, although unfortunately England played just too well after that.
“It was a great feeling scoring another hundred at my home venue, although it was a shame it did not contribute to a series win. It was a tough series, though. James Anderson and I had a few chats out in the middle but it was nothing nasty, just good banter.”
“The WACA is such a unique ground. The pitch is great. It’s fast and has bounce. It’s great for bowling and batting. The first 50 minutes can be tough, but then you get value for your shots because the surface is true and the outfield is lightning fast. I let a few more balls go than normal early on as you know the ball bounces straight over the stumps there.”
“If the Test finishes really early, you can spend three days down at the Margaret River. The wine and food are absolutely magnificent – it is well known for its fresh produce. It’s a three-and-half-hour drive from Perth but it is well worth it. The Sun Valley is also a very nice place to visit.
“Cottesloe Beach is beautiful. Head down there and have a swim, then have a coffee at one of the great cafés down. Fremantle is also a wonderful area for coffee and cafés.”
"All sorts of new pubs are springing up. Subiaco is a fun place for a night out to celebrate a victory."