Perth cleared to host early BBL matches

·2-min read

Cricket Australia has locked in two early BBL matches at Optus Stadium but the Perth Scorchers still fear it might be slim pickings after Christmas.

Western Australia's strict border rules have cast doubt on this summer's fifth men's Ashes Test and BBL games being staged in Perth.

But CA is increasingly confident it will find a way for the series finale between Australia and England to remain in Perth, while on Tuesday it delivered a BBL fixturing breakthrough.

The Scorchers will start their season at Optus Stadium, against Brisbane Heat on December 8, and host Hobart Hurricanes on December 20.

Both games will be played under strict quarantine conditions.

But the Perth-Adelaide clash on December 11 has been shifted to Sydney Showground Stadium, which CA says is the only suitable venue available for the match.

The December 11 contest will start at the family-unfriendly time of 9.30pm AEDT, ensuring broadcasters are not denied a Saturday night double-header.

"We understand Scorchers fans will be disappointed with the need to move the December 11 match out of Perth," BBL boss Alistair Dobson said.

"The league is committed to taking as many home Scorchers matches to Optus Stadium as possible and we look forward to providing further positive updates in the coming weeks."

CA, forced to shift the Perth-Adelaide game because the Strikers will have visited Victoria before that clash, is still trying to map out a plan for Perth's home games on December 26, December 30, January 5 and January 6.

The Scorchers were only able to play four of their seven home matches in Perth last season, and WA Cricket chief executive Christina Matthews isn't sure what 2021-22 will hold beyond the first two home games.

"There is a bit of a fear," Matthews replied when asked if there was a chance the Scorchers wouldn't get to host any games after Christmas.

"But the further we go along, we're closer to things opening up (in WA). Things change.

"The government will know more about what's happening in the states that are opening up. South Australia are opening up today, so we'll see what happens with them."

The Scorchers will host the WBBL final at Optus Stadium on Saturday night, and Matthews is hopeful of attracting a crowd in excess of 42,000.

With South Australia's border now open to NSW and Victoria, there's a chance COVID-19 cases could arrive in the state at the same time as WBBL finals are being played in Adelaide.

But given the final in Perth is only four days away, Matthews doesn't expect there to be any disruption to the Optus Stadium decider

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