Perth stripped of fifth Ashes Test in Cricket Australia bombshell

·3-min read
On the left is Australian Test captain Pat Cummins alongside England counterpart Joe Root.
Australian Test captain Pat Cummins and England counterpart Joe Root pose with the Ashes trophy ahead of the first Test at the Gabba. Pic: Getty

Cricket Australia (CA) is weighing up its options for the fifth and final Ashes Test after confirming on Monday that Perth would no longer host the showpiece match.

Western Australia's strict border policy ultimately cost Optus Stadium the series finale, which was scheduled to get underway there on January 14.

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In doubt for months, the pin was eventually pulled when it became clear players and their partners would have to remain in quarantine for the match after leaving Sydney's New Year's Test.

Similar challenges also surrounded broadcasters and technicians, who would have also been in NSW.

"We are very disappointed that we are unable to stage the fifth men's Ashes Test at Perth Stadium," Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley said. 

"We did everything we could in partnership with the WA Government and WA Cricket to make it work under the current border and health arrangements. 

"But unfortunately this was not possible.

"We are particularly disappointed for Western Australian cricket fans who were so looking forward to seeing the first ever Ashes Test at the new stadium."

WA officials tried to propose a swap deal with Adelaide so Perth could host the second Test but it was shut down by the South Australian Cricket Association on Monday.

Pictured left, Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan alongside Pat Cummins and Joe Root.
Western Australia's idea about swapping the second Ashes Test with Adelaide was laughed off by cricket fans. Pic: Getty

Perth's predicament prompted a last-ditch play from Western Australia's sports minister Tony Buti for the second Test to be taken to the state, pushing for a swap with Adelaide.

Buti's plan had centred around both teams heading to Perth from Brisbane without quarantine requirements, given the two states remain open to each other.

Buti said Adelaide could host the series finale next month, allowing time for their limits on crowds to ease as part of the state's own current COVID-19 outbreak.

That suggestion was promptly shut down on Monday by South Australian Cricket Association acting chief executive Jodie Newton who said any such change would be a "logistical nightmare".

"There has be no indication at any point that there will be any change to the fixture," Newton told reporters.

CA is yet to announce which city will host the fifth and final Test of the series.

Other cities vying to host fifth Test

Hobart remains a slight favourite ahead of Melbourne, with Cricket Tasmania chief executive Dominic Baker adamant the Tim Paine saga shouldn't have an impact on any decision.

Both the NSW government and Cricket ACT have also stated their desire to host the match, at the SCG and Manuka Oval respectively, if required.

Queensland sports minister Stirling Hinchliffe on Monday threw the Gabba forward as an option to hold a second Test this summer.

"We'd love to be able to see more content here at the Gabba," Hinchcliffe said. 

"We'd obviously want to continue talking to Cricket Australia about making sure that we provide the best facilities for the great content.

"Nick Hockley and I speak regularly and it'd be wonderful to play a part in making sure that the Ashes is the best series possible.

"We've got to see what the terms and what the arrangements will be and the circumstances.

"(We're) happy to have that conversation."

with AAP

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