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Ashes Doubt: Australian PM Rejects “Special Deals” For England Players

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ustralian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, has confirmed British cricket players travelling to Australia for the Ashes will not receive any “special deals” that would allow their families to travel with them. 

While England’s cricket team has been granted an exemption to travel to Australia for the Ashes, the Australian PM has said the same will not be permitted for their partners or families. 

Several players have spoken out that if families do not receive additional exemptions, they would boycott the historic tournament.

Former England Test cricket captain, Michael Vaughan, said the demanding cricket schedule would mean multiple English players would face being isolated from their families for several months unless exemptions were granted. 

However, under Australia’s pandemic plan, the borders will only open to fully vaccinated people once over 80% of Australians over the age of 16 are vaccinated. 

Scott Morrison told reporters in Washington: “I would love to see the Ashes go ahead, as I shared with Boris last night.” 

“But there are no special deals there because what we’re looking to have is vaccinated people being able to travel.

“I don’t see a great deal of difference in skilled workers or students who will be able to come to Australia when you reach those vaccination rates. 

“Those who are coming for that purpose when it comes to their profession, which is playing cricket, I don’t see the difference between that and someone who’s coming as a skilled, qualified engineer or someone who’s coming to be ready for study,” Morrison told reporters. 

Cricket Australia is currently in talks with state and federal governments about quarantine arrangements for the players, with the English team due to arrive in Australia in November.

The first test match will begin in December and be played in Brisbane. 

Meanwhile, The International Cricket Council (ICC) has become a broadcast rights partner to Cricket Australia, showing live matches across emerging markets in Europe and Southeast Asia on ICC.tv. 

The deal covers the upcoming Australian summer of cricket, starting with the multi-format series between ICC T20 Women’s World Cup finalists India and Australia, taking place from the 21st September to 12th October. 

This will be followed by the entire 21/22 international calendar in Australia. 

While both the India series and Women’s Ashes will be free for users to stream, the men’s content will be accessible on a pay-per-view basis. 

Cricket Australia’s head of media rights, Nikki Linney, said: “We’re incredibly excited to work with the ICC to continue to grow cricket and bring our distinctive Aussie flavour of cricket to more fans around the world.”

“There will be some excited Australian and English ex-pats living or even holidaying in these countries who’ll now be able to easily access what promises to be a massive home summer with the men’s and women’s Ashes,” Linney said. 

The partnership follows the launch of ICC.tv in June, which made its debut with the World Test Championship final between India and New Zealand.