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Western Australia wants second Ashes Test to be moved from Adelaide to Perth

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Brisbane, Dec 6 (IANS) The Western Australia government has reportedly asked Cricket Australia (CA) for the second Ashes Test to be moved from Adelaide to Perth, as it would help the players and broadcasting teams to “travel quarantine free into the state after the series opener in Brisbane”.

Perth is scheduled to host the fifth and final Ashes Test from January 14, but with stringent border controls in place in Western Australia (WA) due to the Covid-19 pandemic, any individual or team entering the state will have to undergo 14-day hard quarantine before they can move freely.

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The chances of Perth hosting the final Ashes Test have dimmed over the last few weeks with WA Premier Mark McGowan refusing to make concessions for the cricket party, saying they will have to undergo hard quarantine and will also not be allowed to bring their wives and girlfriends.

With the fifth Test having virtually slipped out of their hands, Perth is making a bid to host the second Test, with an eye on the potential windfall that will come with hosting an Ashes game.

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“The WA Government has launched a bid to take the second Test from Adelaide as players would be able to travel quarantine free into the state after the series opener in Brisbane,” sen.com.au quoted News Corp as saying on Monday.

“Perth Sport and Recreation Minister Tony Buti explained to The West Australian how a swap of fixtures between Optus Stadium (Perth) and the Adelaide Oval could work,” reported the website.

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“If cricket isn’t able to meet our border rules for fifth Test in Perth, then they should move the second Test to Perth instead. It’s a no-brainer. As long as Queensland stays COVID-free then the teams can fly in ahead of the pink ball day-night Test, which is due to start on December 16,” Buti said.

“The simple solution would be to bring that Test here while South Australia manages its COVID outbreak. Adelaide can then host the fifth Test originally scheduled for Perth. They could fly straight into Perth after the Brisbane Test (opening game from December 8). Then no one will need to worry about quarantine and COVID protocols. Just like Cairns Taipans played (Perth) Wildcats on Sunday at RAC Arena. Optus Stadium can be made available to host the second Test that’s currently scheduled for Adelaide Oval between December 16 and 20,” added Buti.

According to reports, while the swap will favour WA, it could be disastrous for South Australia (Adelaide Oval) as thousands of tickets have already been sold.

As per the schedule, The Gabba in Brisbane is hosting the opening Test from December 8, while the second Test in Adelaide is due to begin on December 16, four days after the final day of the first Test.

Reports suggest that Hobart (Tasmania) is the frontrunner to receive the fifth Test if Perth is cancelled as venue. The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), which will host the Boxing Day Test from December 26, is also being considered to host a second game due to the financial windfall of hosting two fixtures at the 100,000-capacity stadium.

–IANS

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