Hobart to make men's Ashes debut as fifth Test hosts under lights

Hobart to make men’s Ashes debut as fifth Test hosts under lights

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It will be the the state’s first Test since 2016 after they were preferred over the MCG and SCG

Hobart has been confirmed as the venue for the fifth men’s Ashes Test – which will be the second day-night fixture of the series – after seeing off competition from the much larger MCG and SCG.

A new location was required for the final match of the series after Western Australia’s hard border restrictions meant it was not possible to hold the contest at Optus Stadium. The dates for fixture remain January 14-18.

Hobart’s Bellerive Oval had been the frontrunner – backed strongly by the state’s government while also being endorsed by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison – but Cricket Australia had to weigh up the commercial considerations alongside their duty to take the game around member states.

The ground can hold up to 20,000 spectators but the capacity for the Test is expected to be just under 14,000.

The match will be played under lights with the pink ball so that broadcasters can maintain the primetime east coast slot that they get when a Test is played in Perth. Hobart will join Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide as hosting day-night Tests in Australia.

“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,” Cricket Australia chief executive Nick 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.”

Last month Cricket Tasmania came out very strongly against CA’s handling of the Tim Paine situation but they were always confident that would not be held against them in this process.

Hobart was due to host the Test against Afghanistan last month but that was postponed due to the political situation round the Taliban government’s impact on female sport.