In a desperate measure to make sure that the Test series against India goes ahead as planned, the Australian government might make travel exemptions for the visitors later this year. India are scheduled to visit Australia later this year for a blockbuster four-match Test series.
However, there are doubts over the series because of the coronavirus pandemic. As things stand, all the international series and major domestic events are currently suspended due to the pandemic. While there is still some time left before the Test series, the way things are unfolding at the moment, the signs are not at all encouraging.
And if the series is cancelled, it could cost Cricket Australia up to a staggering $300 million in lost TV revenue. The cricket board is under huge financial pressure due to global lockdown and has laid off 80 percent of its staff. Cricket Australia is looking forward to the Test series against India as it could provide a much-needed financial relief.
As of now, Australia’s borders are sealed till September 30 but their could be an extension of travel sanctions. According to a report in ‘ESPNCricinfo’,”international exemptions to allow an India touring party to arrive in Australia next summer would be seriously considered by the federal government in the event of wider travel bans, strongly suggesting that Cricket Australia will be able to avoid losing up to AUD 300 million in revenue in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.”
The news outlet further reported that CA has received a positive response from its government.
“…The governing body is understood to have received highly encouraging news about their outlook, at least as far as the lucrative India tour is concerned,” the report stated.
Cricket Australia was expecting revenue of AUD 500 million from this financial cycle, primarily from broadcast rights. Even if spectators are not allowed and cricket becomes a TV only event, they happen to lose AUD 50 million. However, things could get a lot worse for them if India fail to visit them.
“Such a scenario (only live TV coverage) would likely leave CA with a hole of around AUD 50 million in its annual revenue of nearly AUD 500 million, but nowhere near the sort of blow they could have expected without being able to welcome India for a series of Test and limited overs matches due to pull the organisation out of the low point of its four-year revenue cycle,” the report stated.
Earlier this week, Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison had said that his government is looking at all option as far as resumption of sporting activities is concerned.
“What is a safe way to be able to do that, and to get as much consistency as we possibly can across all the states and territories,” Morrison said. “That was strongly supported today by all the states and territories, having something along those lines they would find very helpful.”
Previously reports suggested that Cricket Australia has been offered the use of Adelaide Oval’s new luxurious $42 million hotel as a base for the Indian side during their coronavirus quarantine period.
The head of the South Australia Cricket Association, Keith Bradshaw, told Fairfax he had offered the use of the new Oval Hotel to Cricket Australia in a bold plan to make sure that the series against India goes ahead. Kangaroo Island and Rottnest Island had also been touted as possible locations for the touring side to see out their isolation upon arrival.