Fifth Ashes Test could be shifted from Perth to Melbourne
The iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground could host the fifth Test of the upcoming Ashes series. Perth is supposed to host the match as of now. However, authorities in Victoria have asked Cricket Australia to shift the Test to Melbourne due to strict COVID-19 rules. Besides, the MCG is also slated to host the traditional Boxing Day Test from December 26. Here are further details.
Why does this story matter?
The COVID-19 cases have soared in Victoria state over the last two months. As a result, Western Australia state Premier Mark McGowan, on Tuesday, said players and staff would need to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival from New South Wales. As per the incumbent schedule, the two contingents will arrive after playing the Sydney Test from January 5 to 9.
Here is what Victoria Sports Minister Martin Pakula said
"The Victorian government has made it clear to ÇA that if the Perth Test is unable to go ahead that we'd be not just prepared to host the fifth Test but keen to host the fifth Test," Victoria Sports Minister Martin Pakula said. "If they can't get to Perth and it's a commercial decision then I think the MCG's claims are close to undeniable."
Ashes 2021/22: A look at the original schedule
Brisbane will host the Ashes opener on December 8. The second Test will be a Day/Night affair at the Adelaide Oval (December 16). As stated, the MCG hosts the Boxing Day Test, starting December 26. The New Year's Test (January 5) will be hosted by the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), while Perth's Optus stadium is scheduled to host the fifth Test (January 14).
Only one Test win in Melbourne since 2006 (Ashes)
The MCG has hosted a total of 56 Ashes Tests. Australia have won 28 and lost 20, while eight have been drawn. Interestingly, the Aussies have won only one Ashes Test in Melbourne since December 2006. They have lost and drawn one each.