Western Australia fumes after Ashes Test snub
The Western Australian sports minister has reiterated his belief that Cricket Australia should have found a way to accommodate his state's travel restrictions while still playing an Ashes Test in Perth.
CA yesterday stripped Optus Stadium of hosting rights for the fifth Test, a match that now seems likely to be played in either Melbourne or Hobart.
Western Australia's strict quarantine rules made it impossible for Perth to host the match, which is due to take place just days after the fourth Test finishes in Sydney.
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Last week the WA premier, Mark McGowan, said no exemptions would be given for players, families or broadcast staff, all of whom would need to quarantine for two weeks, while yesterday, sports minister Tony Buti called for Perth to host the second Test in place of Adelaide.
That would have allowed the travelling contingent to arrive in Perth direct from Brisbane, with no quarantine required.
Even after CA stripped Perth of the right to host the match, Buti maintained the match could have gone ahead.
"There were enough technical people in Western Australia that could've helped with the broadcasting of a fifth Test in Perth, plus some of that could also be done by remote control," he said.
"We don't believe it was not possible to hold the fifth Test in Perth but not to compromise safety in order for broadcasters to be here.
"Our rules are our rules and we will not compromise that."
The chief executive of the Western Australian Cricket Association, Christina Matthews, also hit out at the decision, but said she hopes the state can still host BBL matches.
"We are extremely disappointed for our members, fans, commercial partners and the wider WA cricket community as well as all our staff and players who have been looking forward to and planning for the first ever Ashes to be played at Perth Stadium," she said.
"While this decision is very difficult to accept, the complexity of staging the Test in the face of strict border controls and quarantine requirements has resulted in it not being possible to align the respective priorities of the WA Government, Cricket Australia, and WA Cricket."
"This decision will not waiver our efforts to bring live cricket to Perth this summer as we continue to work closely with Cricket Australia and the WA Government.
"With world-class facilities and the opportunity for cricket fans to attend matches we maintain that WA is well-positioned to host elite cricket, including Big Bash League matches.
"We remain focused on delivering an exciting and safe cricket season for everyone."
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