Cricket Australia chief executive officer (CEO) Nick Hockley said on Monday that he did everything within his means to ensure Perth remains the venue for the fifth and final Ashes Test from January 14, but unfortunately “this was not possible". Perth’s Optus Stadium was on Monday ruled out from hosting the Ashes Test after Western Australia (WA) refused to lower its stringent Coivid-19 protocols for the teams and the broadcast staff.
As per the WA protocol, anyone coming into the state must quarantine for 14 days before they can move around, and with the fourth Ashes Test concluding in Sydney on January 9 and the Perth Test scheduled for January 14, there was a space of only five days between the two games. In a series of tweets on Monday, Hockley said, “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," added Hockley. “We look forward to continuing to work closely with the WA Government, Perth Stadium and WA Cricket to hold upcoming BBL (Big Bash League) matches and the ODI v New Zealand in Perth and thank them for their continued support."
Cricket Australia (CA), while announcing cancelling Perth as venue, had said, “While every effort was made to ensure the fifth Vodafone #Ashes Test match could be staged in Perth, it is unfortunately not possible to align the respective priorities of the WA Government, CA and WA Cricket. We’ll provide an update on the replacement venue in due course." The Optus Stadium, which was to host the Test, tweeted its disappointment at losing the Ashes game and said, it was beginning refunding of ticket money.
“We are disappointed by the recent news regarding the fifth Ashes Test at Optus Stadium. Please know that Ticketmaster will commence automatically refunding all ticket holders in the coming days."