Cricket Australia has awarded Hobart the fifth and final Ashes Test of the summer between Australia and England, and announced the match will be played at Blundstone Arena in a day-night format from January 14.
With the fifth Test, which was scheduled to be hosted in Perth, looking increasingly unlikely by the day to be played at Optus Stadium due to Western Australia’s hardline border and entry requirements, it spurred other host cities and venues into pitching themselves as a viable option.
Ultimately, Hobart was selected for the fifth and final Ashes Test with CA admitting it was a competitive process with submissions by state and territory governments, state cricket associations and venues assessed on several criteria.
Hobart, who has never hosted an Ashes Test match, will be one of a number of ‘firsts’ for the city, with the contest also set to be played as a day-night encounter, which will be the second of the series following the day-night fixture in Adelaide for the second Test from December 16.
The announcement comes as a reprieve for the city, as Blundstone Arena was set to host a one-off Test match between Australia and Afghanistan from November 27 which was ultimately postponed due to the Taliban Government’s stance on disallowing women from playing cricket.
It has been five years since Hobart played host to a Test match, the last time being in 2016 when South Africa toured Australia – the ensuing result being a win to the travelling side by an innings and 80 runs. It was only the second time Australia had lost at the venue in 13 attempts, with nine wins and two draws.
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Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley said it was a special moment, announcing Hobart as the venue for the fifth Ashes Test and acknowledged the efforts of other sporting bodies for their bids in wanting to end the series in the right manner.
“We are delighted to announce that Blundstone Arena in Hobart will be hosting an Ashes Test match for the first time and thank the Tasmanian Government for its support,” Hockley said.
“I would like to thank all the States and Territories who took part in this process. 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.
“There were a range of considerations, including commercial, logistical and operational factors and 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.
“We also acknowledge the postponement of the Australia and Afghanistan Test due to take place in Hobart earlier in the year played a part in the decision.”
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