Premier Peter Gutwein going in to bat for the state by officially writing to Cricket Australia to put forward the case for Tasmania to host the fifth Ashes Test in January is positive news for long-suffering cricket fans.
If the final Ashes Test is moved from Perth due to concerns over COVID-19-related border restrictions in Western Australia, Hobart should not be overlooked as the host city.
In addition to providing certainty, moving the Test to Hobart makes logistical and economic sense, with the preceding two Tests taking place in Melbourne and Sydney.
Tasmania has also well and truly earned the right to host a major fixture. After all, the state helped keep this year's Women's Big Bash League season alive by agreeing to host 24 games, and Hobart also lost the one-off Australia v Afghanistan Test that was scheduled to take place at Bellerive Oval later this month.
Cricket Australia was right to postpone that Test over concerns the Taliban has banned women from playing the sport, but that venue had also been scheduled to host New Zealand for a One Day International in late March last year, which didn't proceed, for obvious reasons.
That would have been Tasmania's first international fixture since the Australia v South Africa ODI, which took place three years ago.
Western Australia's Premier Mark McGowan has said his state's borders won't reopen until more than 90 per cent of residents over the age of 12 are fully vaccinated. Based on current modelling that is not expected to occur until late January.
Conversely, Tasmania's borders are scheduled to reopen on December 15, by which point more than 90 per cent of people over 12 in the state are forecast to be fully vaccinated.
Tasmania should be recognised for its strong public health record, just as the state's sports fans deserve to be rewarded for their patience and loyalty.
The relative ease with which the teams, their entourages and tourists - especially those from areas deemed low risk - will be able to visit Tasmania should make the decision to host an Ashes Test here a no-brainer.
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