The Ashes
The Ashes.

Cricket Australia has confirmed that the fifth Ashes Test will not take place in Perth as originally planned due to Western Australia’s stringent COVID-19 travel restrictions. Australia are set to host England for a 5-Test series starting December 8 in Brisbane with the fifth Test to start from January 14.

The decision on where the last Test of the series will be played is yet to be made. Following the emergence of the new Omicron variant, WA Premier Mark McGowan reaffirmed the state’s hardline stance on quarantine rules on arrivals from New South Wales, where the fourth Test will be played in Sydney.

Under those protocols, players, their families, as well as match and broadcast staff travelling to Perth after completion of the fourth Test in Sydney (January 5-9) would be required to complete 14 days quarantine upon arrival in Perth.

Australia, England, Pat Cummins, Joe Root
Pat Cummins, Joe Root. Image-Twitter

“While absolutely every effort was made to ensure the final Test match of the series could be staged in Perth, border controls, quarantine requirements and the complexities of staging a five-Test series in a tight schedule have meant it is unfortunately not possible to align the respective priorities of the WA Government, CA and WA Cricket,” Cricket Australia said in a statement.

“These complexities also mean that any suggestion of changing the order of the venues would not be feasible. Discussions about a replacement venue for the fifth Test match are underway.”

Australia announced eleven for the first Test

Pat Cummins, the newly-appointed Australia Test captain, announced the eleven two days out from the Brisbane Test.

Cummins confirmed that Travis Head and Mitchell Starc will start at the Gabba ahead of Usman Khawaja and Jhye Richardson. Cameron Green, who made his Test debut last year against India, is Australia’s premier Test all-rounder and will play a crucial role in a long series.

England skipper Joe Root, though, refrained from confirming his line-up or the bowling combination.

Travis Head
Travis Head pips over Usman Khawaja for a spot in the eleven. (Photo: Twitter)

Australia XI for first Ashes Test: David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood

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