Cricket Australia (CA), on Saturday (December 11), announced that the fifth and final Test of the ongoing Ashes 2021-22 between Australia and England will be held at Blundstone Arena in Hobart.
After winning the race against the heavyweight competitors Sydney and Melbourne, Hobart will be hosting their first Test match in more than five years, having last hosted South Africa in November 2016.
Earlier this week, Perth was dropped as the venue for the fifth Test due to Western Australia’s tough COVID-19 quarantine rules, including mandatory 14-day quarantine.
However, there are no such restrictions in Tasmania, enabling Hobart to host its first-ever Ashes Test and also first-ever day-night fixture from January 14-18.
Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley stated: “The submissions we received were outstanding and we had no doubt that each of the venues that took part would have hosted a wonderful event.”
Hockley added, “We considered a range of factors, including commercial, logistical, and operational considerations. On the balance of these, the CA board agreed on Blundstone Arena being the most appropriate venue to host the fifth Vodafone Men's Ashes Test match.”
He concluded, “We also acknowledge the postponement of the Australia and Afghanistan Test due to be played in Hobart earlier in the year played a part in the decision.”
Meanwhile, Cricket Tasmania CEO Dominic Baker has expressed his delight over winning the rights to host its first-ever pink-ball Test between Australia in England next month.
Baker said in a statement: “This is a great day not just for Tasmanian cricket, but for Tasmania in general. This will be without a doubt the biggest sporting event Tasmania has ever hosted.”
He continued, “While the circumstances that have led us to be able to have the opportunity to host this Test are undoubtedly unique, we are thrilled that Tasmanians will have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness an Ashes Test in their own backyard.”
Notably, Hobart was backed by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Sports Minister Richard Colbeck to host the final Ashes Test next year.
Morrison had stated, “For there to be one in Tassie, I think would be great, particularly as the Afghanistan Test obviously didn't proceed for clear reasons.”
Australia won the first Test by 9 wickets in Brisbane on Saturday. The second Ashes series, which is also a day-night Test, will be played in Adelaide from December 16-20.
(With AFP Inputs)