WA chief: Perth Test has ’50/50′ prospect of going ahead

Perth is scheduled to host the fifth and final Ashes Test from January 14; ongoing Covid-19 restrictions and potential enforced quarantine has cast doubt on the city’s suitability; Tasmania has offered Hobart as an alternative venue; The Ashes series commences on December 8 in Brisbane

By Reuters

Last Updated: 28/11/21 8:04am

Western Australia’s Perth Stadium is scheduled to host the fifth Ashes Test in January

Perth has a 50/50 chance of hosting the fifth Ashes Test between Australia and England, Western Australia Cricket Association chief executive Christina Matthews said.

The Ashes finale is scheduled for January 14 at Perth Stadium but the fixture remains in doubt due to Western Australia (WA) state’s strict Covid-19 policies.

Matthews said earlier this month she was “very positive” about the match going ahead in Perth despite concerns that players and staff might have to quarantine upon arrival.

She had also said Tasmania’s attempt to move the Test to Hobart was doomed to fail.

Matthews was far from certain on Saturday.

Pat Cummins will captain Australia when the Ashes begins on December 8

“I’d probably say at the moment I’m 50/50,” she told ABC Radio. “I’d gone as high as 97 per cent but I’ve gone back to 50/50. We’ll wait and see.”

The Western Australia state government would need to relax some restrictions for the Test to go ahead in Perth.

“It’s a matter of whether cricket can meet those demands or not,” Matthews said.

“One of the difficulties for cricket is just the high level of technology that’s needed around the broadcast and the number of people that are needed around the broadcast compared to an AFL (Australian Football League) broadcast.

“It’s one thing getting the players in (but) it’s another thing getting the people who have to broadcast.”

The five-Test Ashes series is due to begin on December 8 in Brisbane.

Australia retained the Ashes when the teams last met in 2019 in England after a 2-2 series draw.

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