Hobart to host fifth Ashes Test, now a day-night match

Perth had been set to host the fifth and final Ashes Test this series, but Western Australia’s quarantine rules mean Hobart will instead welcome Australia and England; match will be day-night fixture and will be the first time an Ashes Test will have taken place in Tasmanian city

By Reuters

Last Updated: 11/12/21 12:04am

Hobart will host the fifth and final Ashes Test

Hobart will stage the fifth Ashes Test between Australia and England in place of Perth, which was stripped of hosting rights because of Western Australia border controls

Western Australia’s requirement for travellers from New South Wales to quarantine for 14 days made it impossible for the teams to complete the fourth Test in Sydney on January 9 and be free to start the fifth match on January 14.

The day-night, pink-ball fixture will be the first Ashes clash to ever be played in Tasmania.

It will also be the first Test played in the island state in more than five years – since Australia were thrashed by an innings by South Africa in November 2016.

Melbourne, which will stage the third Test in the series, and Sydney, which will be the venue for the fourth, had both offered to replace Perth – options that would have provided much greater revenue for Cricket Australia.

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Olly Stone says the performance of England’s batters on Day 3 will give the team belief that they can win the first Ashes Test

Olly Stone says the performance of England’s batters on Day 3 will give the team belief that they can win the first Ashes Test

“We considered a range of factors, including commercial, logistical and operational considerations,” Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley said.

“On the balance of these, the CA board agreed on Blundstone Arena being the most appropriate venue to host the fifth Vodafone Men’s Ashes Test match.

“We also acknowledge the postponement of the Australia and Afghanistan Test due to be played in Hobart earlier in the year played a part in the decision.”

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Rob Key says England have got themselves back into the game with their impressive performance on day three, but believes Australia are still favourites to win the first Ashes Test

Rob Key says England have got themselves back into the game with their impressive performance on day three, but believes Australia are still favourites to win the first Ashes Test

The picturesque Bellerive ground in Hobart holds 19,500 but has attracted far fewer fans than that for previous Test matches, with one journalist famously counting the crowd one-by-one during the series against Sri Lanka in 2012.

Hobart had been set to host the Australia-Afghanistan Test last month before that was cancelled.

Tasmania has largely managed to keep COVID-19 out for the duration of the pandemic by cutting itself off from the rest of Australia and the world.

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Rob Key says Joe Root can cement his legacy as one of the sport’s greatest ever batsmen if he continues to perform well in The Ashes against Australia

Rob Key says Joe Root can cement his legacy as one of the sport’s greatest ever batsmen if he continues to perform well in The Ashes against Australia

The decision of Western Australia’s government to stick with its hard border controls means the 60,000-seater Perth Stadium, built at a cost of around GBP860m and completed in 2018, will miss out on Test cricket for the second year in a row.

The stadium, which replaced the WACA ground as Western Australia’s test venue, hosted Tests against India in 2018 and New Zealand in 2019.

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