‘Perth’s chances of hosting fifth Ashes Test subject to WA Govt’s exemptions’

Western Australia (WA) Cricket chief executive Christina Matthews has said that the chances of Perth hosting the fifth and final Ashes Test, scheduled from January 14, are 50-50, adding that much will depend on the exemptions the WA government gives on border controls.

The final Test against the Joe Root-led England side will begin five days after the completion of the fourth Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).

But due to stringent border controls and mandatory quarantine norms in WA due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it is difficult to host the final Test in Perth, unless, of course, exemptions are made to the cricket party.

“It’s a matter of whether cricket can meet those demands or not,” Christina Matthews told ABC Radio’s National Grandstand programme on Saturday. “I think it’s quite possible that Cricket Australia (CA) might have got a bit distracted over the past week. But there’s still being a lot of work done on getting the Test here.

“One of the difficulties for cricket is just the high level of technology that’s needed around the broadcast and the number of people that are needed around the broadcast. It’s one thing getting the players in (but) it’s another thing getting the people who have to broadcast.”

She said that WA Cricket had no choice but to wait for the government to relax the quarantine norms. In the event Perth being unable to host the Test, Tasmania has emerged a strong contender, considering the state’s earlier interest.

The Bellerive Oval in Hobart, which will host several Big Bash League (BBL) and Women’s National Cricket League matches in December and January, will only need to shuffle some of those fixtures to accommodate the Test. The other option Cricket Australia (CA) has is Canberra. CA could also decide to host the fourth and fifth Tests at the SCG.

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