Australian Cricket Chief Nick Hawkley said on Monday that Australian cricket is “actively and constructively working” to ensure that the final Ash Test takes place in Perth.
Perth plans to start the fifth ashes test on January 14, but the strict COVID-19 restrictions imposed by the Western Australian government may force the authorities to move it to another city.
“Cricket is a non-contact sport and we have proven last season that our cricket players are very responsible in complying with all biosafety protocols,” Hawkley said Sydney Morning Herald.
CA faced a similar situation in last year’s home series against India, but was able to complete all games on schedule.
“Now there is a lot of experience in Perth Stadium being able to perform elite-level sports in a biosafety environment. This is the detailed discussion that is currently being conducted with the Western Australian Government.
“This will be the first ash test of the new stadium. This is a magnificent stadium and we know that Perth will have very large numbers.
Hawkley added: “As a result, we are working very actively and constructively to be able to play in Perth in a way that provides a wonderful experience for both groups of players, while also ensuring the safety of the Western Australian community.”
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There is a lot of speculation about this series, and many English players, including Test captain Joe Root, have expressed concerns about traveling with their families under strict COVID restrictions. Some players even considered quitting the tournament.
Although traveling to Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney may not pose a challenge, Western Australia’s strict border restrictions remain an obstacle. However, when asked about the arrangements, Hawkley said that family members of the players can also travel to Perth from Sydney.
“Our promise is that one is that we complete the tour safely, and the other is that this is a wonderful experience for both teams, so there is no suggestion (family will not join the Perth team).
“As we speak, we are actively engaged in very active discussions with the Western Australian Government and Western Australian Cricket,” Hawkley reiterated.
Aerial view of Optus Stadium in Perth. -Getty Images
He added: “Our experience in playing in Western Australia under isolation conditions through the BBL last year is very rich-we played five games at the Perth Stadium in January last year.”
In order to persuade the British players to continue the series, CA obtained more insights from a senior official of the Queensland government.
Hawkley said: “What we have always done is to invite all relevant experts, whether they are medical experts or others.”
“So we have the support of a senior bureaucrat who supports us in terms of immigration isolation arrangements, so the state government. We also have to understand that this is a different point of view-England has certain arrangements throughout the summer, and England is already open. A lot more, and they heard about blockades and similar things here,” he added.