06/12/2021 - 14:46

Perth Ashes Test dropped

06/12/2021 - 14:46

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Perth has officially lost out as host of the fifth Ashes Test due to WA’s ironclad COVID-19 travel restrictions, Cricket Australia has confirmed.

Perth Ashes Test dropped
The fifth Ashes Test was due to be played at Optus Stadium. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Perth has officially lost out as host of the fifth Ashes Test due to Western Australia’s ironclad COVID-19 travel restrictions, Cricket Australia has confirmed.  

The final test was to be staged at Optus Stadium between January 14 and January 18, but hopes of the of the game going ahead dwindled as the state government refused to relent on quarantine requirements for arrivals from NSW.

Players, families and staff would have needed to quarantine for 14 days after arriving in WA from the fourth test taking place in Sydney January 5 to January 9.

Premier Mark McGowan previously said it was up to cricket staff whether they wanted to adhere to quarantine rules or not, as the Omicron variant of COVID-19 prompted further questions about WA's reopening to the rest of Australia and how it might impact the scheduled Test. 

"While absolutely every effort was made to ensure the final Test match of the series could be staged in Perth, border controls, quarantine requirements and the complexities of staging a five-Test series in a tight schedule have meant it is unfortunately not possible to align the respective priorities of the WA Government, CA and WA Cricket,” Cricket Australia said in a statement.

Optus Stadium released a statement saying it was disappointed by the recent news and would start refunding ticketholders in the next few days.

The Test was set to be the first Ashes played at the stadium.

Speaking at press conference at the WACA this afternoon, WA Cricket chief executive Christina Matthews said she was "cranky" that Perth was missing out on the Ashes, but there was no one to blame for the decision.

"With everybody opening up we held out a bit of hope that there'd be some concessions," she said. 

"I'm really cranky about the fact that it's the second year in a row we're missing a test but there's really no one to blame, which makes it really hard."

Ms Matthews said broadcasting cricket was a massive operation. 

"The time between the games is not like footy and in the end that's what stops it from happening," she said.

"What changed was a full understanding of what the broadcast needs were and the lack of time between Sydney and Melbourne."

She estimated the financial cost of losing the ashes at between $3 and $5 million. 

A new venue for the fifth test is yet to be confirmed. 

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