Cricket Australia (CA) has confirmed that the fifth and final Test match of the upcoming Ashes series will be moved out of Perth. The venue became the center of attraction owing to pandemic-related restrictions and strict quarantine protocols. Also, the new COVID-19 variant Omicron was making the situation complicated. The Western Australia Premier had earlier announced that players will have to serve 14-day quarantine on arrival in Perth. Given England’s reluctance to play series under strict curbs, the move of the Test was inevitable.
The upcoming Ashes series is due to begin on December 8. Perth was set to host the fifth Test from January 14. Now, CA has to look at other possible options to stage the last Test. Earlier, CA along with Western Australia Cricket Association were trying hard to make things work out but could not come to a common agreement. Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley said he is disappointed with the development.
“We acknowledge and appreciate the efforts of the WA Government, relevant agencies, and Perth Stadium over recent months,” Nick Hockley, Cricket Australia CEO, said, according to Cricbuzz. “We are very disappointed that we are unable to stage the fifth Vodafone men’s Ashes Test at Perth Stadium. 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.”
However, the Perth fans will not miss out on cricketing action as the Scorchers’ first game of the 11th edition of the Big Bash League (BBL) is set to be played at the venue on December 8. Perth is also likely to host an ODI match between Australia and New Zealand. Meanwhile, the new venue for the 5th Test is still not finalized