Perth may not be able to host Ashes test due to COVID-19 curbs

Sept 28, 2021: On Tuesday, Sports Minister Richard Colbeck said Perth would not be able to conduct the Ashes test in Australia’s domestic summer due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Perth has been scheduled to host the fifth and final Test from January 14, but Colbeck said the capital of Western Australia (WA) could be deprived of the state’s quarantine requirements. Colbeck told Perth Radio that the 6PR players would not want to be quarantined in Western Australia for 14 days if they play the previous fourth Test in Sydney as scheduled.

“We’ve had a lot of work to do for quarantine arrangements for cricketers coming to Australia,” Colbeck said.

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The Ashes kicks off in Brisbane on December 8, followed by Tests in Adelaide (December 16), Melbourne (December 26) and Sydney (January 5).

Cricket Australia (CA) said it was planning all the tests as scheduled. England players have threatened to walk out of the series if they are forced to abide by Australia’s strict quarantine regime, and have been assured that their families will be able to travel to Australia and tour with them.

The Covid-19 situation in Australia has cast doubt on the schedule. Western Australia is opposed to opening its borders while other states fight the spread.

The Australian federal government unveiled a vague plan in July to ease quarantine restrictions and release interstate travel bans, with 70 per cent of adults vaccinated, possibly by the end of October, according to official estimates.

But WA and Queensland, of which Brisbane is the capital, have said they could keep the borders closed for longer to protect their health systems from the spread of the virus.

WA cricket boss Christina Mathews said the state governing body for the game had asked the CA to move the Perth match forwards on schedule to avoid quarantine snags.

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