Perth has 50:50 chance of hosting Ashes Test match, says WA Cricket chief Christina Matthews

WA Cricket chief executive Christina Matthews says there is now only a 50-50 chance of the fifth and final Ashes Test match being played in Perth.

The game is fixtured at Perth Stadium from January 14, five days after the completion of the fourth Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

WA Cricket had been confident the match would go ahead in Perth, but it would need exemptions to the WA Government’s border rules for that to happen.

“It’s a matter of whether cricket can meet those demands or not,” Matthews told ABC Radio’s National Grandstand program.

“I think it’s quite possible that Cricket Australia might have got a bit distracted over the past week. But there’s still being a lot of work done on getting the test here.

“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.

A woman standing in front of a sign that says Alcohol Think Again at a sporting stadium
WA Cricket chief executive Christina Matthews says it’s 50-50 whether Perth will host the Test.(Supplied: WACA)

It is a dramatic change from earlier in November, when Matthews was bullish on the chances of the match being in Perth, as Tasmania pushed to host the match if WA was unable.

“We will wait as we have always done for our government to sign off on it,” she said at the time.

“What I am happy to say is Tasmania wasted the ink in their printer.”

Which city will host the Test?

The clear favourite to host the match if Perth Stadium is unable to is Tasmania, considering the state’s earlier interest.

A picture of a cricket ground mostly empty aside from a handful of people, with covers on the pitch in the background.
Bellerive Oval in Hobart is the frontrunner to host the Test if Perth is unable to. (Getty Images: Sarah Reed)

Bellerive Oval in Hobart is set to host numerous Big Bash League and Women’s National Cricket League matches across December and January, so moving the Test to Hobart would require a shuffle in those fixtures.

It is currently hosting Tasmania and Western Australia in the WNCL on January 7 and 9, and Hobart Hurricanes and Melbourne Renegades in the BBL on January 17.

Canberra shapes as another option, but it faces similar fixturing problems, with three WNCL matches from January 7 to January 11, which could impact on wicket preparations at the venue.

An outside option could see two Tests played at the SCG.

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