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Ashes 2021 tour schedule: Perth Test finally boxed, poignant start for Stokes and green ground at Gabba?
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Standard Sport cricket correspondent Will Macpherson is in Australia with just two days before the start of the Ashes. His daily journal keeps you up to date with everything going on Down Under …

Finally, Cricket Australia has confirmed the inevitable: that Perth will not host the fifth test in the series due to Western Australia’s hard-line border position which has reportedly seen players plunge back into a two-week quarantine.

CA said they were “disappointed” with the news and that “absolutely every effort” has been made to get the game going.

The location of the game, which will now take place between day and night, is still being decided. CA seems to like the idea of ​​Hobart losing their test against Afghanistan through no fault of their own, but there are logistical challenges there, not least because Tasmania has yet to declare itself open. More likely is Melbourne, which would be quite an event.

A full process is underway to select the new location, with Sydney as an option as well. It will become political.

Late Sunday, Western Australia Sports Minister Tony Buti comically suggested that with just 10 days notice Perth and Adelaide (the second in the series) should simply trade try-outs. It was, he said, “obvious”. The South Australian Cricket Association had Buti laughing out of town, unsurprisingly.

There is, however, a bit of uncertainty around Adelaide: the South Australian border could close the week before the game, excluding many fans from across Australia, as well as media and administrators. Already, SA has capped crowds in Adelaide at 35,000.

Meanwhile, Queensland kindly opened its borders to other states on Monday, the day after its test match ended. You couldn’t make it up. Trying to get around Australia right now is a pretty crazy exercise.

The ECB made a nice four-part documentary called The Ultimate Test on the Ashes rivalry, interviewing a number of English players. He threw in some interesting lines on the heat of the Battle of Ashes.


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