An audacious proposal by Western Australia’s Sports Minister to swap the dates of the Perth and Adelaide Ashes Tests was given short shrift by the South Australian Cricket Association (SACA) on Monday.
Cricket Australia is expected to announce over the next few days that the fifth test, scheduled for January 14-18 at Perth Stadium, will be switched to another city because of Western Australia’s hard line on quarantine.
Western Australia has largely managed to keep COVID-19 out with strict border controls and it currently bans travellers from New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia from entering the state without undergoing 14 days quarantine.
The fourth Test is scheduled to finish in the New South Wales capital of Sydney on January 9, leaving insufficient time for the players to complete their period of isolation.
Travellers to Western Australia from Queensland, where the first Test gets underway on Wednesday, are allowed to enter without quarantine and sports minister Tony Buti had suggested the players head straight to Perth from Brisbane.
“The second Ashes Test will proceed at Adelaide Oval in 10 days’ time,” SACA’s Jodie Newton told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“There has been no suggestion that a schedule change for the Adelaide Test will be considered. The Adelaide Day-Night Test is the biggest annual event in South Australia, and no tour is bigger than the Ashes.”
Buti earlier told The West Australian that the Test dates should be swapped.
“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,” he 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.”
Hobart, which was scheduled to host a Test against Afghanistan in November before it was postponed in the wake of the Taliban takeover of the country, is favourite to take over hosting rights for the fifth Test.
Officials in Sydney and Melbourne have also indicated they would be prepared to host a second Test in the series.