Cricket Australia (CA) on Monday concluded that the fifth and final Ashes Test, earlier scheduled to be held in Perth from January 14, cannot be played there due to the strict quarantine rules in Western Australia (WA), and that a replacement venue will be announced in due course.
Cricket Australia tweeted its disappointment on Monday saying, "While every effort was made to ensure the fifth Vodafone #Ashes Test match could be staged in Perth, it is unfortunately not possible to align the respective priorities of the WA Government, CA and WA Cricket. We'll provide an update on the replacement venue in due course."
In a bid to circumvent the crisis emerging from the WA government's stringent Covid-19 quarantine rules, Western Australia Cricket had asked CA to move the second Test (in Adelaide) to Perth, but due to logistical issues -- and the fact that Adelaide had already sold thousands of tickets - the request couldn't be accepted.
There are several takers for the fifth Test, with Tasmania Premier Peter Gutwein saying the Blundstone Arena in Hobart, which was denied the opportunity to host the now-postponed one-off Afghanistan-Australia Test, be compensated for that.
"Melbourne (MCG), Canberra and Sydney (SCG) have also been touted as possible venues for the fixture after it became apparent Perth's chances were dimming," cricket.com.au said on Monday.
"The final match in Test cricket's oldest rivalry was due to be played from January 14-18 at Perth's Optus Stadium, the first time the newly developed 60,000-seat venue had hosted an Ashes encounter. However, following the emergence of the virus' new Omicron variant last month, WA Premier Mark McGowan reaffirmed the state's hardline stance on quarantine rules on arrivals from New South Wales," added the website.
As per the WA protocols, cricketers, their families, as well as the broadcasting staff flying into Perth after the fourth Test in Sydney (January 5-9) would be required to complete 14 days' quarantine upon arrival.
This is not feasible as there is a gap of only five days between the conclusion of the fourth Test at Sydney and the start of the fifth Test from January 14.
( 367 Words)