There is still no clarity on the fate of the Ashes series scheduled to begin later in the year. While the first Test of the five-match series is set to begin in December, there have been all sorts of chaos around the series. This is because Australia, who are set to host the series, is not allowing the families of England players to travel along with them for the long bilateral arrangement.
This has clearly not gone down too well with several former England cricketers and pundits since staying completely isolated in bio-secure bubbles for an extended period of time is going to take a toll on the mental health of the players. More recently, there is growing uncertainty over the venue of the fifth and final Test match of the series in January next year.
While it is scheduled to be played in Perth, stringent quarantine rules being implemented in Western Australia could force a change in venue and Tasmania has emerged as the leading contender.
Serious questions about whether there'll be a Test match in Perth this summer: Australia sports minister
On Monday, Australia's sports minister Richard Colbeck hinted at the same. He said that Tasmania, which happens to be his home state, would be happy to host the final Ashes Test.
"We've had to do a lot of work to organise quarantine arrangements for cricketers coming into Australia," Colbeck was quoted as saying by Daily Mail.
"There are serious questions about whether there'll be a Test match in Perth this summer. If there's no chance of coming here without prolonged quarantine, it just won't occur," he added.
"After the Melbourne and Sydney Tests, there is no timeframe for players to quarantine before flying to Perth, so I think those arrangements are largely settled. The Australian government wants the Ashes to go ahead, but the chances of the Perth Test taking place are very slim," he further said.
Cricket Australia cancelled one-off Test against Afghanistan
Meanwhile, Tasmania was supposed to host a solitary Test match against Afghanistan in November but Cricket Australia (CA) has cancelled that match post Taliban's decision to ban women's cricket.
Currently, several Australian players are participating in the ongoing Indian Premier League in UAE and the players will be in the Middle East for a while as the T20 World Cup co-hosted by Oman and UAE will follow the cash-rich league next month.