MCG keen to host fifth Ashes Test due to potential monetary windfall

With Perth most likley to be unable to host the fifth and final Test of the upcoming Ashes series due to tough Covid-19 restrictions in Western Australia (WA), Victoria’s Sports Minister Martin Pakula has said that the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) would gladly host a second Test as well if Cricket Australia (CA) agrees.

Notably, WA Premier Mark McGowan had said that tough border restrictions would remain in place due to the emergence of the new Covid-19 variant and the players will have to quarantine for 14 days to be able to play the match.

Meanwhile, McGowan had also banned wives and girlfriends of the cricketers from attending the fifth Test at the Optus Stadium due to which Perth is unlikley to host the fifth Test.

On the other hand, the MCG, which will host the Boxing Day Test (Third Test) from December 26, is now keen to host the fifth Test because of the potential monetary windfall which will come by hosting one of the oldest and greatest rivalry in cricket.

“The Victorian government has certainly made it clear to Cricket Australia that if the Perth Test is unable to go ahead that we’d be not just prepared to host the fifth Test but very keen to host the fifth Test,” Pakula was quoted as saying by theage.com.au on Wednesday.

“I’ve spoken to Cricket Australia and they’ve got a decision to make, firstly about whether they go with Perth… and if they can’t get to Perth and it’s a commercial decision then I think the MCG’s claims are pretty close to undeniable. We will wait and see, but Cricket Australia is well aware of our interest,” he added.

As per reports, the MCG is the most likley option for the CA to host the fifth Test, which could be possibly a Day and Night affair and in such a scenario, it would result in a sporting bonanza for Melbourne, which will also stage the Australian Open from January 17.

Recently, WA Cricket chief executive Christina Matthews had said that the possibility of Perth hosting the fifth Test were 50-50 as McGowan had denied to open its borders with other states as he is aiming for atleast 90 per cent vaccination target.

The five-match Test series will begin on December 8 in Brisbane,

Men’s Ashes

Squads

Australia: Pat Cummins (c), Steve Smith (vc), Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, Tim Paine, Jhye Richardson, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner

England: Joe Root (c), James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

Schedule

First Test: December 8-12, The Gabba

Second Test: December 16-20, Adelaide Oval

Third Test: December 26-30, MCG

Fourth Test: January 5-9, SCG

Fifth Test: January 14-18, Perth Stadium

News Desk

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