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Perth Ashes Test in real jeopardy due to strict coronavirus quarantine rules

Perth are set to host the fifth Ashes Test, but Western Australia’s ‘very strict’ coronavirus rules mean it is likely that the game could be moved

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The fifth Ashes Test between England and Australia could be moved from Perth as a result of Western Australia’s strict coronavirus protocols.

The state requires all visitors to quarantine for a 14-day period upon entry and, with the fifth Test due to start just five days after the end of the fourth Test in Sydney, the cricketers would require an exemption.

However, following the emergence of the Omicron variant, Western Australia’s Premier Mark McGowan has insisted all those involved in the series will have to adhere to their “very strict rules”.

He said: The thing about the Ashes and Cricket Australia is we have put in place very strict rules.

Perth are set to host the fifth Ashes Test, but Western Australia’s strict coronavirus rules mean it is likely that the game will be moved
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Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

“We’ve said to them they need to have 14 days of quarantine, and that has to apply to all of the broadcast staff, all the cricket staff.

“They can’t just bring wives and girlfriends with them, [there are] the same rules as we put in place for the AFL (Australian Football League). It is up to them whether they want to adhere to those rules or not.”

There are a number of potential replacements for Perth, with Canberra, Hobart, Sydney and Melbourne all in the frame.

Melbourne are set to host the third Test of the series and Stuart Fox, chief executive of the Melbourne Cricket Club which manages the MCG, has revealed that ground already has a second pitch ready to go if needed.

Speaking to 3AW radio, he said: “We’ve snuck another [pitch] in right beside it. We’re never cheeky about these things because we’ve lost two grand finals and I don’t like seeing other states pinch content.

“But we’re ready if we’re needed, and if Cricket Australia just accidentally made a phone call to us and said, ‘We need you to host a second Test,’ we’d be ready to go.

The Ashes is due to get underway on December 8 at The Gabba
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Getty Images for Surrey CCC)

“It’s pretty simple, I’ve spoken to (Cricket Australia CEO) Nick Hockley and said there’s a spare pitch there if any of the states get into trouble with a border closure.”

When asked about the potential of the fifth Test being moved from Perth, England star Jos Buttler said: “I find it tiring to talk about it when you don’t know.

“That’s not for me to worry about at the minute. There’s a week to go until the first Test here and all our energies are focused on that.”

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