Chances of fifth Ashes Test going ahead in Perth are ‘very slim’ due to quarantine restrictions, admits Australian sports minister as he puts forward Tasmania to host series finale
- The exact arrangements for the England tour party have still to be finalised
- Fourth Test in Sydney due to end on January 9, five days before start of fifth Test
- Western Australia currently requires arrivals to undergo 14 days of quarantine
The Australian government have all but ruled out the prospect of the fifth Ashes Test taking place in Perth this winter because of quarantine restrictions in Western Australia.
As doubts continue to surround the exact nature of the England team’s bubble arrangements ahead of the first Test at Brisbane on December 8, Australian sports minister Richard Colbeck said Tasmania – his home state – would be happy to step in and host the series finale in the new year.
Western Australia currently requires arrivals to undergo 14 days of quarantine before being able to circulate freely within the state – unless they have come from states that have gone 28 days without any community transmission of Covid-19.
Prospect of the fifth Ashes Test taking place in Perth this winter has all but been ruled out
The fourth Test at Sydney in New South Wales, which has been in and out of lockdown, is due to end on January 9, only five days before the scheduled start of the Perth game.
‘We’ve had to do a lot of work to organise quarantine arrangements for cricketers coming into Australia,’ said Colbeck. ‘There’s serious questions about whether there’ll be a Test match in Perth this summer. If there’s no chance of coming here without prolonged quarantine, it just won’t occur.
‘After the Melbourne and Sydney Tests, there is no timeframe for players to quarantine before flying to Perth, so I think those arrangements are largely settled. The Australian government wants the Ashes to go ahead, but the chances of the Perth Test taking place are very slim.’
The exact arrangements for the England tour party and their families have still to be finalised
Tasmania, also the home state of Australian Test captain Tim Paine, was due to host a Test against Afghanistan in late November, only for Cricket Australia to cancel the match following the Taliban’s ban on women cricketers.
Meanwhile, Gloucestershire have apologised ‘unreservedly’ to former England fast bowler David ‘Syd’ Lawrence after he told Sky Sports’s ‘You Guys Are History’ documentary of racist abuse he suffered during his time at the club.
The 57-year-old Lawrence, who won five Test caps for England before breaking his knee cap at Wellington in 1991-92, played for Gloucestershire throughout the 1980s, before making a brief comeback from injury in the late-1990s.
He told the documentary: ‘I remember my first away game at Gloucestershire. Somebody knocks on my door in the evening and one of my team-mates leaves a banana skin there.
Western Australia currently requires arrivals to undergo 14 days of quarantine
‘Subsequently, I have to play with that person for the next 13 or 14 years. When that happened to me, I said: “I am going to be harder, tougher than ever. No one is ever going to push me around.'” Lawrence, who took 477 first-class wickets for the county in 170 matches, was immediately contacted by club officials, and told them of another incident, where he was racially abused by the crowd at an away fixture – an allegation that was never investigated by Gloucestershire.
A club statement said: ‘The behaviour and attitudes David experienced were as unacceptable then as they are today. The club therefore wishes to apologise unreservedly to David for all the hurt he has experienced, both as a Gloucestershire player and as part of the wider cricketing network.
‘The Club would also like to apologise to any player or employee of the club who may have experienced similar prejudices during their time at Gloucestershire.’