Australian Govt looking at travel exemptions for India's Test tour: Report

Cricket Australia might suffer massive financial losses if the home Test series against India does not happen in December-January.

Virat Kohli (centre) captained India to its first Test series victory in Australia on the previous tour.   -  K.R. DEEPAK

The Australian government might make travel exemptions for the Indian team’s tour Down Under later this year to save the cricket board from losing a staggering 300 million Australian dollars in the wake of COVID-9 pandemic.

Cricket Australia is under huge financial pressure due to global lockdown and has laid off 80 percent of its staff. India’s four-Test tour in December-January could provide a relief to the struggling Board.

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 website also reported that CA has received a positive response from its government.

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”...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, it happens to lose AUD 50 million.

But if India fails to tour, the repercussions will be of gigantic proportions.

“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.

Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Friday 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.”

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