Vodafone Men's Ashes
Perth Ashes Test 'fifty-fifty': WACA chief
Western Australia's tough border restrictions have put Optus Stadium's chances of hosting the Ashes series finale in doubt
28 November 2021, 07:32 AM AEST
Perth's hopes of hosting the fifth Ashes Test is no longer a lock, with Western Australia Cricket Association chief executive Christina Matthews now rating it as just a 50-50 chance.
Matthews had been bullish up until recently about the prospect of the match being played at Optus Stadium, even going as far as saying Tasmania had wasted the ink in its printer in attempting to steal the Test.
But Matthews was far more reserved on Saturday, with fears now growing WA's tough border stance could result in the contest being moved.
"I'd probably say at the moment I'm 50-50," Matthews told ABC Radio's National Grandstand program.
"I'd gone as high as 97 per cent, but I've gone back to 50-50. We'll wait and see."
The WA State Government would need to relax some of the current restrictions in place in order for the Test to go ahead in Perth.
One complicating factor is the sheer size of the broadcast team, which combined with the DRS system is bigger than what was seen at the AFL grand final.
"It's a matter of whether cricket can meet those demands or not," Matthews added.
"One of the difficulties for cricket is just the high level of technology that's needed around the broadcast and the number of people that are needed around the broadcast compared to an AFL broadcast.
"It's one thing getting the players in (but) it's another thing getting the people who have to broadcast."
As it stands, the Test is fixtured to start on January 14 - just five days after the fourth Test in Sydney is scheduled to end.
With WA set to open its border in late January or early February, WA premier Mark McGowan has shown a willingness of late to relax the restrictions required for interstate sporting teams to play in Perth.
The Perth Scorchers will host two BBL games in December, while the Glory have put in a bid with the WA Government to play two A-League Men's game in Perth in early January.
Vodafone Men's Ashes v England
Nov 30 – Dec 3: England v England Lions, Brisbane
Dec 1-3: Australian intra-squad match, Brisbane
Dec 9-12: Australia A v England Lions, Brisbane
First Test: December 8-12, The Gabba
Second Test: December 16-20, Adelaide Oval
Third Test: December 26-30, MCG
Fourth Test: January 5-9, SCG
Fifth Test: January 14-18, Perth Stadium