Tuesday 28 September 2021 11:22 am

Fifth Ashes Test can't go ahead unless rules change, says Australian sports minister

Australia’s sports minister Richard Colbeck has raised further doubts about the viability of this winter’s Ashes series, insisting the final Test in Perth cannot go ahead under current Covid-19 regulations.

Western Australia’s state rules require arrivals to quarantine for 14 days, but England and the hosts may only have five days in between the fourth Test in Sydney and the start of the fifth match in Perth.

“We’ve had to do a lot of work to organise quarantine arrangements for cricketers coming into Australia,” Colbeck told Perth radio station 6PR.

“There’s 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.”

The Ashes is already under threat, with some England players believed to harbour reservations about spending more than a month in a strict bubble, potentially without family in attendance.

The series is due to begin on 8 December in Brisbane, with further Tests in Adelaide eight days later, Melbourne on Boxing Day and Sydney on 5 January. The potential decider in Perth is scheduled for 14 January.

Cricket Australia is still planning for all Tests to go ahead.

One player England will be without is Moeen Ali, who announced his retirement from Test cricket yesterday. The all-rounder, 34, intends to carry on playing one-day and Twenty20 formats.