Fifth Ashes Test could be day-night match at MCG as doubts grow over Perth game

The final Ashes Test in Perth remains in doubt, with Western Australia's strict coronavirus protocol proving a barrier to Cricket Australia 's schedule.

The fifth Test is currently due to start on January 14, just four days after the fourth Test is scheduled to end.

However, visitors to Western Australia are required to self-isolate for a two-week period and, following the emergence of the Omicron variant, it appears unlikely that England and Australia's cricketers will be granted an exemption by the state.

According to a report from The Cricketer, the ECB and Cricket Australia are set to discuss the situation in the coming days.

The MCG, which is set to host the third Test, is said to be the frontrunner to stage the fifth as well and the game could become the second day-night fixture in the series.

That would allow it to start at a more viewer-friendly time for those in the UK.

Stuart Fox, chief executive of the Melbourne Cricket Club which manages the MCG, insisted the ground is prepared to host a second Ashes Test.

Speaking to 3AW radio, Fox said: "We've snuck another [pitch] in right beside it.

"We're never cheeky about these things because we've lost two grand finals and I don't like seeing other states pinch content.

"But we're ready if we're needed, and if Cricket Australia just accidentally made a phone call to us and said, 'We need you to host a second Test,' we'd be ready to go.

"It's pretty simple, I've spoken to (Cricket Australia CEO) Nick Hockley and said there's a spare pitch there if any of the states get into trouble with a border closure.

"We're happy to help out, but we know we’ve been at the opposite end of the conversation where we’ve lost content. So, I'm hoping we get this Test and series away with little disruption."

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