ACT puts its hand up for Fifth Ashes Test after Perth stripped of hosting rights

Max O'Driscoll 8 December 2021
Cricket match under lights at Manuka Oval

The ACT Government is submitting an Expression of Interest to bring the Fifth Ashes Test to Manuka Oval. Photo: Michael Weaver.

The ACT Government has officially announced it will enter an expression of interest (EOI) to host the Fifth Ashes Test after Western Australia lost the rights to host the clash due to their strict COVID-19 border rules.

Canberra has witnessed International Test Cricket just once in its history. A match that ended before the tea break on day four against a lowly Sri Lanka in February 2019. However, the door is now ajar for an Ashes Test in the nation’s capital.

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Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the Sri Lanka Test would provide a valuable source of experience to ensure Manuka Oval was prepared to host its second test.

“In our response to the EOI, we will draw on the experience gained from hosting that Test match, along with the many COVID-safe matches that were moved to Manuka in the 2020/21 cricket season,” Mr Barr said.

“Canberrans love watching international cricket at Manuka Oval. With this in mind, the ACT Government would love to provide our community with another opportunity to witness world-class sport in our city.”

Cricket ACT CEO Olivia Thornton said that while Cricket ACT was disappointed for Western Australia, the ACT would always welcome “elite cricket content”.

“We believe Canberra and Manuka Oval would be the perfect location to host this important fixture,” said Ms Thornton.

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“Manuka Oval is one of the most picturesque boutique sporting grounds in the world and has proven over many recent years that it can successfully host International cricket to the highest standard and attract large crowds.

“Canberrans proved last summer that their appetite for elite cricket is incredibly strong, and we are excited by the possibility of providing our community with the opportunity to witness a historic Men’s Ashes fixture in our own backyard,” she said.

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