Western Australia hits back at Tasmania’s Ashes Test bid

Western Australia cricket officials have hit back at Tasmania’s bid to have the final Ashes Test shifted from Perth to Hobart, saying the island State’s efforts were doomed to fail.

FILE PHOTO: A view of Bellerive Oval, Hobart. Tasmania hopes to bring the final Ashes Test scheduled for January 14 to Bellerive Oval.   -  V. V. Krishnan

Western Australia cricket officials have hit back at Tasmania’s bid to have the final Ashes Test shifted from Perth to Hobart, saying the island State’s efforts were doomed to fail.

Tasmania Premier Peter Gutwein said on Wednesday he had engaged with Cricket Australia to push for the January 14 match to be played at Hobart’s Bellerive Oval due to Western Australia (WA) State’s strict COVID-19 rules.

WA Cricket boss Christina Matthews said she was “very positive” about the match going ahead in Perth as scheduled despite concerns that players and staff might have to quarantine upon arrival.

‘Wasted ink’

“We know that things are moving in the right direction. What we don’t know is when the final details will be put to bed,” she told Australian media on Thursday. “We will wait as we have always done for our government to sign off on it. What I am happy to say is Tasmania wasted the ink in their printer.”

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COVID-free WA remains effectively closed to travellers from New South Wales State due to the presence of the novel coronavirus in the eastern State. This has raised concerns about bringing players and staff into Perth after the fourth Test in New South Wales capital Sydney which starts on January 5.

Matthews said there was “talk” in WA of Ashes players needing to quarantine for between four and seven days in Perth.

A number of England players have expressed reservations about having to quarantine and be restricted to biosecure bubbles.

“So that is an issue that is being dealt with,” Matthews said.

“The Ashes Test match is a massive event. I don’t think it’s something the (WA) government wants to lose easily. So they are working really hard to make it happen.”

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