The Perth Scorchers will spend the rest of the BBL season on the road after Cricket Australia confirmed it had become too difficult to schedule games at Optus Stadium.
The Scorchers were due to host the Hobart Hurricanes at Optus Stadium on Monday night.
But with WA to reclassify NSW to an extreme risk jurisdiction from this Saturday following a huge surge in COVID-19 cases, the path to Perth for BBL teams became impossible.
Both the Scorchers and Hurricanes had played in COVID-ravaged Sydney last Saturday.
Monday’s match will now be played at Blundstone Arena, where the Scorchers and Hurricanes faced off two days ago.
“We have worked tirelessly over the past few months to secure as many BBL matches as possible,” WA Cricket chief executive Christina Matthews said.
“Unfortunately, the border restrictions and the league’s inability to change fixtures has meant we have had to relocate our home matches to continue our season.”
The Scorchers’ new fixture list is good news for the Melbourne Renegades, who can now stay at home for Christmas ahead of their Boxing Day clash instead of travelling to Perth and having to quarantine.
The Melbourne Stars, Sydney Thunder and Sydney Sixers are the other teams who will benefit.
But it means the Scorchers will end the campaign having played just one game in Perth this BBL season – the six-run win over the Brisbane Heat on December 8.
With Perth being stripped of the fifth Ashes Test and the Scorchers losing all but one of their BBL home games, WA Cricket is set to lose between $3 million to $5 million.
“We understand this is a disappointing decision for the Scorchers’ passionate fanbase, but in the current environment we want to provide certainty for members, fans, players, match officials and staff,” CA’s general manager of BBL Alistair Dobson said.
“While our preference was to play these matches in Perth, this was simply not possible under the current arrangements when all factors are taken into account.”
SCORCHERS UPDATED ‘HOME’ FIXTURES:-
*December 20: Perth Scorchers v Hobart Hurricanes, Blundstone Arena, 7:15pm AEDT
*December 26: Perth Scorchers v Melbourne Renegades, Marvel Stadium, 9:15pm AEDT
*December 30: Perth Scorchers v Melbourne Stars, Marvel Stadium, 7:15pm AEDT
*January 5: Perth Scorchers v Sydney Thunder, venue TBC, time TBC
*January 6: Perth Scorchers v Sydney Sixers, venue TBC, time TBC