Western Australia's $5 million blow in loss of fifth Ashes Test

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WA Premier Mark McGowan and cricket boss Christina Matthews, pictured here speaking to the media.
WA Premier Mark McGowan and cricket boss Christina Matthews have been left shattered by the loss of the fifth Ashes Test. Image: Getty

The Western Australia Cricket Association says it will seek compensation from Cricket Australia after being stripped of the fifth Ashes Test.

WA Cricket chief executive Christina Matthews says her organisation will lose up to $5 million after Perth was stripped of the fifth Test, but she hopes Cricket Australia will help soften the blow.

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Optus Stadium was due to host the series decider starting January 14, however Cricket Australia was forced to take the match away from Perth due to the state's strict border and quarantine rules.

“While absolutely every effort was made to ensure the final Test match of the series could be staged in Perth, border controls, quarantine requirements and the complexities of staging a five-Test series in a tight schedule have meant it is unfortunately not possible to align the respective priorities of the WA Government, CA and WA Cricket,” CA said in a statement.

“These complexities also mean that any suggestion of changing the order of the venues would not be feasible. Discussions about a replacement venue for the fifth Test match are underway.”

Matthews said losing the Test was "difficult to accept" and would be a big financial hit to WA Cricket.

"We're talking (a loss of) between three to five million dollars, which is all our members' fees," Matthews said.

"We still get our grant from Cricket Australia for international cricket, but our business model is based on members.

"If there's a financial advantage in allocating that fifth Test to a particular state, we expect to receive some of that financial advantage to compensate for what we've lost.

"I'd hope we'd recover 50 per cent."

Western Australia laments loss of fifth Ashes Test

Matthews said the size of the broadcast team proved to be the major stumbling block to Perth hosting an Ashes Test this summer.

"And not just the broadcasters in Fox and Seven - there's also Hawkeye, there's Spidercam and there's DRS that only have a certain specialist group of people who follow it all around the country," Matthews said.

"They can't get here any earlier than the players. When they come to do their job, they've got to go in and out of the public areas.

"So there's things that can't be kept away from the public and that wasn't fully known until about 10 days ago.

"I don't think we dropped the ball, but maybe we needed to dig a bit deeper into things Cricket Australia need to tell the government.

Optus Stadium in Perth, pictured here during a Test match between Australia and New Zealand.
Optus Stadium in Perth will no longer host the fifth Ashes Test. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

"I'm really cranky about the fact it's the second year in a row we're missing a Test, but there's really no one to blame which makes it really hard. It's just circumstances."

Perth is scheduled to host a one-day international between Australia and New Zealand on January 30.

Even if WA's border doesn't open before then, Matthews is still hopeful that match will go ahead given the demands are much less than that of a Test match.

But the Perth Scorchers' hopes of hosting a block of BBL games at Optus Stadium appear slim.

The Scorchers open their season at home against Brisbane Heat on Wednesday and are then due to host the Hobart Hurricanes on December 20.

But a December 22 fixture in Melbourne against the Renegades could turn the Scorchers into a team too 'dirty' to be able to play more matches in Perth beyond that.

WA Cricket will put forward a proposal requesting any Scorchers' games in Covid-ravaged Melbourne be moved elsewhere.

More than four months after clouds first hovered over the fifth Test, the match's venue was finally listed as TBC on Monday with Hobart the favourite to take over.

with AAP

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