CA close to locking in fifth Test venue

Bellerive Oval in Hobart is believed to be the front-runner to host the fifth Ashes Test in January.
Bellerive Oval in Hobart is believed to be the front-runner to host the fifth Ashes Test in January.

Cricket Australia (CA) could lock in a venue for the fifth men's Ashes Test as early as Friday, with Hobart still considered the front-runner.

The series finale was slated to begin in Perth on January 14.

However, CA has been forced to shift the final Test elsewhere because of Western Australia's border restrictions.

Every state and the ACT have expressed an interest in hosting the match, with the MCG and SCG looming as Bellerive's stiffest competition.

CA chief executive Nick Hockley, speaking on Thursday, played a straight bat when asked about the prospect off Hobart hosting its first Test since 2016.

But Hockley confirmed a decision about the Test, now set to be a pink-ball clash, would be made "in the not too distant future".

"We've had lots of interest. I won't go into specifics because we're just working through the details now," Hockley told SEN.

Western Australia police minister Paul Papalia sledged CA for being "completely inflexible" and a "pretty poor organisation" after talks regarding the fifth Test hit a brick wall.

Hockley argued that criticism was "entirely unfair".

"We've worked really constructively with governments right around the country, all throughout the last 18 months," he said.

"Including the Western Australia government.

"So that's certainly not reflective of the conversations and the spirit of the conversations that I've been having."

Australian Associated Press