Perth’s hopes of hosting the series-opening ODI clash between Australia and New Zealand remains in grave doubt with Western Australia’s hardline border stance staying in place until February 5.
Optus Stadium lost the right to host the fifth Ashes Test due to WA’s border policy, and it is uncertain if the January 30 ODI clash in Perth will go ahead.
The match falls less than a week before WA opens its border to domestic and international travellers, sparking hope that Premier Mark McGowan would relax the rules and regulations for players and broadcast staff entering the state for the ODI fixture.
But McGowan swiftly re-iterated his policy when he fronted the media on Monday, saying the game could only go ahead if players and staff adhered to the 14-day quarantine rules.
“If they’re prepared to adhere to the rules, then they can hold the game of cricket,” McGowan said.
“They just need to adhere to the 14-day quarantine rules. That’s what we said to cricket, they didn’t want to do that (for the fifth Ashes Test).
“We said the same thing to the AFL and they did want to do that, and that’s why we held the grand final.”
When asked if he would consider a change to exemptions in order to accommodate the ODI, McGowan bluntly replied: “No”.
The fifth Ashes Test in Hobart is scheduled to finish on January 18, meaning players and broadcast staff would have to operate under strict quarantine rules if the January 30 game were to go ahead in Perth.
A major reason why the fifth Ashes Test couldn’t go ahead in Perth was that some of the broadcast staff entering the State would have needed access to public areas at Optus Stadium.
Although the broadcast demands for an ODI is less, it could still be a case where the restrictions prove too onerous to overcome.
The February 5 opening of WA’s border means the Perth Scorchers are unlikely to be able to play a BBL game at Optus Stadium this season beyond their December 20 clash with the Hobart Hurricanes.
The BBL finals begin on January 21 and finish on January 28, meaning even if the Scorchers reach the final, they are unlikely to be able to host it.
The February 5 opening means a host of other sporting codes will need to change their fixtures as well.
West Coast’s AFLW team is due to host Brisbane, Gold Coast, and Adelaide in Perth in January, while Fremantle’s AFLW team is scheduled to host Adelaide and GWS that month.
All those games might need to be switched.
The NBL might need to send the Perth Wildcats on the road for an extended period until the WA border opens, while Perth Glory’s hopes of hosting A-League Men’s games on January 15, 22, and 28 are in doubt.
Perth Glory’s women’s side may need to spend an extended stint on the road as well.
Fans and staff will have to show proof of vaccination at Perth’s four major stadiums – Optus Stadium, RAC Arena, HBF Arena, and HBF Park – from February 5.