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Perth unsure about home BBL finals

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23rd January, 2021
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The Perth Scorchers are still unsure if they will be allowed to play home finals in Western Australia this season because of ongoing border restrictions.

The Scorchers have surged into top spot with eight wins in their last nine games and have one match left in the regular season, against Brisbane Heat in Adelaide on Tuesday.

A likely top-two finish would give the Scorchers hosting rights for at least one home final, and possibly two, depending on results.

Western Australia this week re-opened its borders with Queensland and New South Wales but travellers are still required to quarantine for 14 days on arrival.

The same still applies to travellers from Victoria.

The finals series is due to start on Friday but Scorchers captain Ashton Turner said it remains unclear whether players and staff in BBL bubbles will be granted exemptions to fly in and out of Western Australia for matches.

“We’ve got no clarity about anything at the moment,” Turner said.

“We haven’t had much clarity the whole tournament, everything’s up in the air.

“We knew going into this season, before we even started playing state cricket, that things (could) change last-minute.”

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Only one BBL final has been played at a neutral venue, in 2014-15, when it went to Canberra’s Manuka Oval.

Turner said the Scorchers are hopeful of playing home finals at Perth’s Optus Stadium, where they boast a perfect 4-0 record from a brief run of home matches earlier this season.

But they are also prepared to play ‘home’ finals interstate, if required.

“We know as players that we’re really fortunate to be playing any cricket at the minute and I think every player in the country knows that they have to make some sacrifices for this tournament to go ahead,” Turner said.

“In every other edition of the Big Bash, all of the teams that have earned the right to play home finals have had home finals.

“We know that this year there are extenuating circumstances and we understand that, but if there’s no big obstacles we’d love to be playing in Perth.”

The Scorchers confirmed their finals spot by beating Melbourne Stars by 11 runs at the MCG on Saturday night and put their hosts’ season on life support in the process.

Stars coach David Hussey said his side needed to qualify for the top-five before worrying about where finals matches might be played.

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“If that means we have to travel to Perth and do two weeks’ quarantine for (WA premier) Mark McGowan, we’ll do it,” Hussey said.

“But we’re just trying to make the finals first and foremost. If we have to travel to Cairns and play, we’ll do it.”

© AAP