Cricket Australia face a multimillion-dollar dilemma after West Australia confirmed it would not budge from its strict quarantine stance.
One week out from the Ashes, Cricket Australia has been dealt a multimillion-dollar conundrum after West Australian Premier Mark McGowan confirmed he would not budge from his strict quarantine stance.
As the new Omicron variant threatens to wreak havoc, McGowan reiterated thatafter arriving in Perth for the fifth Test, which is scheduled to commence on January 14.
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“We have put in place very strict rules,” McGowan said on Tuesday.
“So we’ve said to them, ‘You need to have 14 days quarantine’. And that has to apply to all the broadcast staff, the cricket staff.
“They can’t just bring wives and girlfriends with them — same rules as we put in place for the AFL.
“It’s up to them whether they want to adhere to those rules or not.”
McGowan previously claimed he was confident the final Test would go ahead at Optus Stadium, but the chances of Perth hosting the monumental occasion are dwindling following his latest declaration.
Christina Matthews, the chief executive of the Western Australian Cricket Association, this week said the prospect of Perth hosting the final Ashes Test had dropped from 97 per cent to 50 per cent.
, MCG stands as the slight favourite to host the fifth Test — potentially as a day-night fixture — while Sydney, Hobart and Canberra are also candidates.
Last month, Tasmania made an official bid to poach the fifth Test from Perth amid ongoing concerns about quarantine arrangements for players.
“I do see the West Australian government is scrambling a bit at the moment, offering some sort of quarantine lite should they be able to have the Test,” Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein said in November.
“Even if they drop and change their rules so they can have the Test, the border rules means thousands still couldn’t see the Test live, where as they could in Tasmania. I think we have a really strong case to push.”
Although Hobart is arguably the most deserving candidate — Blundstone Arena has not hosted a Test match in more than five years — CA’s desire for revenue in the age of Covid-19 could heavily influence the final decision.
, there may be a $17 million gap in the revenue able to be generated depending on the venue chosen for the final Test.
The report suggests the MCG could generate up to $22 million for an Ashes Test, while a Hobart match would raise approximately $5 million.
Earlier this week, MCC chief executive Stuart Fox told 3AW radio that curators had prepared a second pitch on the MCG deck.
“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,” he said.
“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.
“I’ve spoken to 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.”
last week as CT chairman Andrew Gaggin vented his fury over CA’s treatment of former Test captain Tim Paine, accusing the governing body of throwing the veteran wicketkeeper under the bus after a series of lewd texts between him and a former staff member from 2017 surfaced.
On Wednesday, cricket journalist Peter Lalor suggested Australia’s cricketers would not be willing to isolate again this summer, particularly those who competed in the triumphant T20 World Cup campaign.
“The players were rewarded for their World Cup victory with two weeks quarantine in Queensland, which didn’t sit very well with them,” he told SEN Mornings.
“They were saying if they had come back to New South Wales or Victoria, they’d be free people. They’ve just emerged yesterday.
“I’ve heard them say, ‘Not one more hour of quarantine. We’re just not doing it this summer’.
“There’s a lot of things piling up and the broadcasters won’t want to go there either. Even if Cricket Australia hasn’t made their mind up it’s going to be made up for them.”
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, England wicketkeeperfor the touring squad.
“Getting the families out here was a huge part of the initial negotiations, we want them to be able to travel around with us,” he said.
“I’m sure if we can move interstate, I can’t see why the families inside the bubble can’t move around with us.”
The first Test between Australia and England gets underway at the Gabba on Wednesday, December 8.
— with Alex Conrad, NCA NewsWire
Originally published as
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