Beating Australia isn’t impossible – Anderson

The fifth Ashes Test between Australia and England will no longer be played in Perth because of Covid-19 restrictions.

Western Australia has a 14-day quarantine rule and Perth’s Optus Stadium was set to host the final Test from 14 January.

The fourth Test takes place in Sydney between 4-9 January.

Discussions about a replacement venue are under way, with Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra and Hobart the possible options.

The Ashes start in Brisbane on 8 December with Australia pausing plans to reopen its borders to some foreign nationals because of fears over new Covid variant Omicron.

Cricket Australia chief executive Nick Hockley said it is “very disappointed” the fifth Test has to be relocated from Perth.

“We did everything we could in partnership with the Western Australia government and Western Australia Cricket to make it work under the current border and health arrangements, but unfortunately this was not possible,” he added.

“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.”

Ashes Tests in Perth were held at the WACA Ground from 1970 until the previous series in Australia in 2017-18, with the Optus Stadium taking over after its completion in January 2018.

Cricket Australia said that “absolutely every effort” was made to try to stage the final Test in Perth but the “border controls, quarantine requirements and the complexities of staging a five-Test series in a tight schedule” meant it could not balance the priorities of all parties involved.

“These complexities also mean that any suggestion of changing the order of the venues would not be feasible,” it added.

The fifth Test could be moved to Melbourne, which hosts the third game of the series, and could be played as a day-night match. The second Test in Adelaide is a day-night match.

Other options include Sydney hosting both the fourth and fifth Tests or the final game being played in either Canberra or Hobart.

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