After a lot of hullaballoo, the Ashes is all set to get underway on December 8. The series was on the verge of cancellation after England players raised their concerns about playing the series under strict curbs. However, both boards reached terms after negotiations and the series was given a green signal. Just as when everything seemed intact, a sudden rise in COVID-19 has dented the plans. While the series is still likely to go ahead, the 5th Test in Perth may be moved out of the city owing to stern COVID-19 protocols.
Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan has confirmed that the players will have to undergo 14-day quarantine in Perth. Also, the families of the players won't be allowed to accompany them. The decisions were taken as precautionary measures to curb the spread of the new variant of COVID-19, Omicron. Also, the broadcasting crew and coverage team will have to follow the protocols.
“We have put in place very strict rules. So we’ve said to them, ‘you need to have 14 days’ quarantine’. And that has to apply to all the broadcast staff, the cricket staff. They can’t just bring wives and girlfriends with them – same rules as we put in place for the AFL. It’s up to them whether they want to adhere to those rules or not,” said Mark McGowan according to The Daily Mail.
Given players' reluctance in playing the series under strict protocols, it will not be a surprise if the match is moved out of Perth to some other city.