The emergence of the new variant of COVID-19 has put the fate of the 5th Ashes Test in Perth in jeopardy. The series is set to get underway on December 8 in Brisbane, however, there are doubts if the teams will be keen to play in Perth.
The series got a green signal after negotiations between England Cricket Board (ECB) and Cricket Australia (CA). The visitors were not keen on playing the series under stern bio bubble rules. However, after assurance of minimum restrictions by CA, the players agreed to tour Australia.
After the emergence of the new variant of Covid-19, Omicron, Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan has laid out stern COVID-19 protocols for the players as a precautionary measure. As per the rules, it’ll be mandatory for the players to serve 14-day quarantine. Also, the families of the players won’t be allowed to accompany them.
Mark McGowan admitted that the restrictions are tough but added that it was a necessary step to limit the spread of the virus. Along with the players, the broadcasting crew and coverage team will also have to follow the protocols.
“We have put in place very strict rules. So we’ve said to them, ‘you need to have 14 days’ quarantine’. And that has to apply to all the broadcast staff, the cricket staff. They can’t just bring wives and girlfriends with them – same rules as we put in place for the AFL. It’s up to them whether they want to adhere to those rules or not,” said Mark McGowan according to The Daily Mail.
The England players were not keen on playing the series under strict curbs thus it will be interesting to see if they agree to the terms. In case they don’t agree, the match could be moved out of Perth.