Uncertainty looms on Ashes’ Perth Test; CA in fire fighting mode

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Perth is scheduled to host the fifth and final Test of the Ashes series.
Perth is scheduled to host the fifth and final Test of the Ashes series.

Uncertainty prevails over the fifth and final Ashes Test of the Ashes series, scheduled to be played at Perth. Cricket Australia is trying hard to host the Test at Perth amidst concerns over Covid-19 restrictions, which might compel the authorities to move it to another city.

The Ashes series is set to begin in Gabba, Brisbane, on December 8.  Cricket Australia is “working actively and constructively” to ensure the final Ashes Test takes place in Perth, CEO Nick Hockley said on Monday.

Perth is scheduled to host the fifth Ashes Test starting January 14, but the strict COVID-19 restrictions enforced by the West Australian government may compel the authorities to move it to another city.

“Cricket is a non-contact sport, we’ve shown through last season that our cricketers are very responsible in terms of complying with all the biosecurity protocols,” Hockley told The Sydney Morning Herald.

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CA was faced with a similar situation last year during the home series against India but was able to pull off all the fixtures as per schedule.

“There’s a lot of experience now of being able to play elite level sport at Perth Stadium while being in a biosecure environment, and that’s the detailed discussion that is going on at the moment with the WA government.

“It’d be the first Ashes Test at the new stadium, it’s a magnificent stadium, we know Perth will turn out in really big numbers.

“So we’re working very actively and constructively on being able to play in Perth in a way that provides a fantastic experience for both sets of players, but also keeps the WA community safe,” Hockley added.

There had been a lot of speculation over the series with many England players including Test captain Joe Root raising concerns over travelling with family members amid strict COVID restrictions Down Under. Some players even mulled pulling out of the tour.

Earlier, ECB had hinted at deferring the Ashes serried Down Under due to strict Covid-19 restrictions.

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