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Hobart all set to be announced as venue for fifth Ashes Test

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Hobart, Dec 10 (IANS) The Bellerive Oval in Hobart is set to be announced as the venue for the fifth and final Ashes Test, after it beat rivals Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) and Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), reports emerging from Australia said.

The Test, scheduled to commence on January 14, was first awarded to Perth but because of the stringent Covid-19 protocols in Western Australia (WA) and the need for players to undergo 14 days of hard quarantine, the Optus Stadium lost the hosting rights for the concluding Ashes Test.

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“It’s a done deal for Hobart to host the series finale with a formal announcement expected this weekend,” said Newscorp in a report on Friday. This means the Bellerive Oval will host a day-night game, the second pink-ball match of the series after Adelaide, which is the host for the second Test.

Australian Prime Minster Scott Morrison, a great cricket fan, reportedly “sided with Hobart’s bid to host a first Test match since 2016”.

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“I’m in the Tassie (Tasmania) camp. I think it will be great to see Tasmania share in this Ashes series,” Morrison was quoted as saying by sen.com.au.

“For there to be one in Tassie, I think would be great. Particularly as there was the Afghanistan Test, which obviously didn’t proceed for clear reasons. I know they’ll put on a great show. That’s a matter for Cricket Australia (CA), but a Prime Minister’s allowed to have an opinion.”

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The MCG was also in contention till the last minute to host the fifth Test because of the potential financial windfall, but what probably went against the venue was that they are hosting the third Ashes Test (Boxing Day Test from December 26).

–IANS

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