Andrew Barr's next call should be to Nick Hockley.
The Cricket Australia chief executive is preparing for a round of ICC meetings in Dubai. But how the governing body will pull off an Ashes Test in Perth when Western Australia has isolated itself from the rest of the country is surely weighing on his mind.
So it's time ACT Chief Minister Barr made some noise. After all, it was his city that saved Cricket Australia's so-called golden goose when 13 Big Bash games were shifted to Canberra last summer.
The Ashes are supposed to shift from Sydney to Perth in the new year with the final Test of the summer slated for January 14. But Western Australia's strict border policy and the reluctance of England's squad to accept biosecurity restrictions beyond their quarantine stint means the fate of the match remains unclear.
Moving the Test to a different location would be the easiest way to overcome what looms as a logistical nightmare - and nowhere, sans a double-header in Sydney, would be easier than Manuka Oval.
Television networks will need to move essential crew members from Sydney to the next venue. It would be almost impossible for camera operators, who have travelled interstate, to work from the stands in COVID-zero Perth, where they would mix with spectators in the crowd.
Highly skilled crew members would be able to travel freely between Sydney and Canberra, while camera operators would be able to fulfil their obligations from the Manuka Oval stands.
Pushing the start of the Test back by a day or two has been floated as an option to satisfy WA health officials but there would be knock-on effects to the BBL schedule. There would be no such issues if the Test was to be moved to Canberra.
The Tasmanian government has launched a shock bid to steal the fifth Ashes Test from Perth Stadium in a move that could ramp up the pressure on Western Australian officials.
Western Australian Cricket Association boss Christina Matthews claims Tasmanian powerbrokers are wasting their time. There is a desire within the governing body to retain the schedule in its current form.
Broadcasters are believed to be on the same page. A Test in Perth drags into a primetime television slot on the east coast.
But constant uncertainty has sparked speculation about moving the Test to a different venue. Taking the series back to Melbourne would allow Cricket Australia to cash in on ticket sales. A shift to Canberra or Hobart would allow the governing body to slash costs on hosting the event given they are smaller venues.
The ACT government is poised to further ease COVID restrictions this month which will see Manuka Oval operate its fixed seating at maximum capacity.
Canberra hosted a Test match in February 2019, when 30,822 fans streamed through the gates over four days. The second of its kind is on the horizon with Australia poised to host England in a women's Ashes Test from January 27.
It seems there is little appetite from the ACT government to pour big money into any more sporting events. For the time being their priorities rest with the light rail and the effects of COVID-19. But the chance to lure thousands of cricket fans to Canberra for an Ashes blockbuster would offset some costs, bring in tourism dollars and add another chapter to the city's sporting legacy.
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