Cricket Australia is staring at an A$ 200 million financial blow if the England and Wales Cricket Board decides to call off the upcoming Ashes Down Under. The projection of the feared loss is published in a Sydney Morning Herald report.
The uncertainty on the series has emerged following an ECB statement on Monday. The cricket governing body is evaluating the proposed arrangements in Australia over the Covid-19 protocols. ECB would clear the tour only if the arrangements in Australia are sufficient for the tour to go ahead.
The Ashes is scheduled to start on December 8 with Brisbane hosting the first Test.
About A$100 million of that would be as a direct impact on the Australian broadcast rights deal with Channel Seven and Fox, while sponsorship, overseas broadcast rights, and ticket sales would make up the bulk of the remainder. International, state, and Big Bash male and female cricketers receive roughly a quarter of Australian cricket income, with a large chunk of the remaining AUD 150m earmarked for grassroots cricket,” states the SMH report.
The Ashes has been in doubt due to the quarantine issues and uncertainty on whether the England players’ could accompany their families with them or not during the long tour, featuring five Tests.
“Over the weekend we have been talking to England men’s players and management to provide them with the latest information about the proposed arrangements for this winter’s scheduled Ashes tour,” the ECB said on Monday.
“We remain in regular and positive dialogue with Cricket Australia over these arrangements as the picture is constantly evolving. With health and wellbeing at the forefront, our focus is to ensure the tour can go ahead with conditions for players and management to perform at their best. We will continue talking to our players this week to share the latest information and seek feedback. Later this week the ECB Board will meet to decide whether the conditions in place are sufficient for the Tour to go ahead and enable the selection of a squad befitting a series of this significance,” it added.
Last month, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, on behalf of his country’s cricketers, had pleaded with his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison in Washington DC last month for the families to be allowed to travel to Australia.
Earlier, several England cricketers had expressed their displeasure over the tough quarantine rules in Australia.
Due to Covid-19 pandemic, Australia have put some strict rules under place for people arriving from abroad and there is a mandatory 14-day quarantine even if the person is fully vaccinated which means England team’s family members may not be allowed to travel with them.