Perth loses fifth Ashes Test over Covid restrictions

Perth has been ruled out from hosting the fifth and final men’s Ashes Test due to Western Australia’s Covid-19 restrictions which would have meant players and staff faced a 14-day quarantine on arrival.

Cricket Australia have yet to announce which city will host the match on January 14.

“We are very disappointed that we are unable to stage the fifth men’s Ashes Test at Perth Stadium,” Cricket Australia chief executive Nick Hockley said in statement.

“We did everything we could in partnership with the WA government and WA Cricket to make it work under the current border and health arrangements, but unfortunately this was not possible.

“We are particularly disappointed for Western Australian cricket fans who were so looking forward to seeing the first ever Ashes Test at the new stadium.”

WA Cricket chief executive Christina Matthews said the news was disappointing but “it’s no-one’s fault”.

“With everybody [states] opening up, we held out a bit of hope that there’d be some concessions more than we’ve been able to get,” she told the ABC.

“If the penalty for living a free life, virtually for the last two years, is losing a Test match, I don’t think we’ve got a lot to complain about.”

West Australian Premier Mark McGowan said that the state’s Covid rules “need to be followed by everyone”.

“Throughout the pandemic, we have worked constructively and cooperatively with all sporting codes to ensure major sporting events could take place without putting the public or players at risk,” he said.

“It’s an approach that’s been based on our expert health advice, and it’s resulted in some of the biggest and safest spectacles in Australia across the past two years.”